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If you want to compound wealth in the stock market, you can do so by buying an index fund. But you can significantly boost your returns by picking above-average stocks. To wit, the Community West Bancshares (NASDAQ:CWBC) share price is 50% higher than it was a year ago, much better than the market return of around 4.4% (not including dividends) in the same period. So that should have shareholders smiling. And shareholders have also done well over the long term, with an increase of 35% in the last three years.
Now it's worth having a look at the company's fundamentals too, because that will help us determine if the long term shareholder return has matched the performance of the underlying business.
There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. One way to examine how market sentiment has changed over time is to look at the interaction between a company's share price and its earnings per share (EPS).
Community West Bancshares was able to grow EPS by 57% in the last twelve months. This EPS growth is reasonably close to the 50% increase in the share price. This makes us think the market hasn't really changed its sentiment around the company, in the last year. It makes intuitive sense that the share price and EPS would grow at similar rates.
The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).
We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Even so, future earnings will be far more important to whether current shareholders make money. This free interactive report on Community West Bancshares' earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.
What About Dividends?
It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. The TSR is a return calculation that accounts for the value of cash dividends (assuming that any dividend received was reinvested) and the calculated value of any discounted capital raisings and spin-offs. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. We note that for Community West Bancshares the TSR over the last 1 year was 53%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.
A Different Perspective
It's nice to see that Community West Bancshares shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 53% over the last year. Of course, that includes the dividend. That gain is better than the annual TSR over five years, which is 8%. Therefore it seems like sentiment around the company has been positive lately. Someone with an optimistic perspective could view the recent improvement in TSR as indicating that the business itself is getting better with time. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Community West Bancshares better, we need to consider many other factors. Take risks, for example - Community West Bancshares has 2 warning signs we think you should be aware of.
There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. You probably do 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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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.