Provident Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:PVBC) shareholders have seen the share price descend 11% over the month. But that doesn't change the fact that the returns over the last three years have been respectable. After all, the stock has performed better than the market (41%) over that time, over which it gained 49%.
To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it's a weighing machine. One flawed but reasonable way to assess how sentiment around a company has changed is to compare the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price.
During three years of share price growth, Provident Bancorp achieved compound earnings per share growth of 30% per year. The average annual share price increase of 14% is actually lower than the EPS growth. Therefore, it seems the market has moderated its expectations for growth, somewhat.
The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
This free interactive report on Provident Bancorp's earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.
A Different Perspective
Provident Bancorp shareholders are down 15% for the year, but the broader market is up 2.2%. Of course the long term matters more than the short term, and even great stocks will sometimes have a poor year. Investors are up over three years, booking 14% per year, much better than the more recent returns. The recent sell-off could be an opportunity if the business remains sound, so it may be worth checking the fundamental data for signs of a long-term growth trend. Before forming an opinion on Provident Bancorp you might want to consider these 3 valuation metrics.
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.
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