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These days it's easy to simply buy an index fund, and your returns should (roughly) match the market. But one can do better than that by picking better than average stocks (as part of a diversified portfolio). To wit, the Brookline Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:BRKL) share price is 83% higher than it was a year ago, much better than the market return of around 52% (not including dividends) in the same period. That's a solid performance by our standards! On the other hand, longer term shareholders have had a tougher run, with the stock falling 4.8% in three years.
While the efficient markets hypothesis continues to be taught by some, it has been proven that markets are over-reactive dynamic systems, and investors are not always rational. By comparing earnings per share (EPS) and share price changes over time, we can get a feel for how investor attitudes to a company have morphed over time.
Brookline Bancorp was able to grow EPS by 93% in the last twelve months. This EPS growth is reasonably close to the 83% increase in the share price. That suggests that the market sentiment around the company hasn't changed much over that time. It looks like the share price is responding to the EPS.
You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
We know that Brookline Bancorp has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? You could check out this free report showing analyst revenue forecasts.
What About Dividends?
When looking at investment returns, it is important to consider the difference between total shareholder return (TSR) and share price return. The TSR incorporates the value of any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings, along with any dividends, based on the assumption that the dividends are reinvested. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. As it happens, Brookline Bancorp's TSR for the last year was 91%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!
A Different Perspective
It's nice to see that Brookline Bancorp shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 91% over the last year. That's including the dividend. That's better than the annualised return of 11% over half a decade, implying that the company is doing better recently. Someone with an optimistic perspective could view the recent improvement in TSR as indicating that the business itself is getting better with time. While it is well worth considering the different impacts that market conditions can have on the share price, there are other factors that are even more important. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 2 warning signs with Brookline Bancorp (at least 1 which makes us a bit uncomfortable) , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.
If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.
This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
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