By buying an index fund, investors can approximate the average market return. But if you pick the right individual stocks, you could make more than that. For example, Cubic Corporation (NYSE:CUB) shareholders have seen the share price rise 68% over three years, well in excess of the market return (38%, not including dividends). On the other hand, the returns haven't been quite so good recently, with shareholders up just 10% , including dividends .
To quote Buffett, 'Ships will sail around the world but the Flat Earth Society will flourish. There will continue to be wide discrepancies between price and value in the marketplace...' One imperfect but simple way to consider how the market perception of a company has shifted is to compare the change in the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price movement.
During three years of share price growth, Cubic moved from a loss to profitability. That would generally be considered a positive, so we'd expect the share price to be up.
The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).
We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Even so, future earnings will be far more important to whether current shareholders make money. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on Cubic's earnings, revenue and cash flow.
What About Dividends?
As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). 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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. We note that for Cubic the TSR over the last 3 years was 71%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
Cubic provided a TSR of 10% over the last twelve months. But that return falls short of the market. On the bright side, that's still a gain, and it's actually better than the average return of 8.8% over half a decade This could indicate that the company is winning over new investors, as it pursues its strategy. Investors who like to make money usually check up on insider purchases, such as the price paid, and total amount bought. You can find out about the insider purchases of Cubic by clicking this link.
Cubic is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with insider buying.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.
We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.