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Northwest Bancshares (NASDAQ:NWBI) Shareholders Have Enjoyed A 26% Share Price Gain

Simply Wall St

Investors can buy low cost index fund if they want to receive the average market return. But in any diversified portfolio of stocks, you'll see some that fall short of the average. Unfortunately for shareholders, while the Northwest Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:NWBI) share price is up 26% in the last three years, that falls short of the market return. At least the stock price is up over the last year, albeit only by 2.2%.

Check out our latest analysis for Northwest Bancshares

There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. 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.

Northwest Bancshares was able to grow its EPS at 17% per year over three years, sending the share price higher. This EPS growth is higher than the 8.0% average annual increase in the share price. So one could reasonably conclude that the market has cooled on the stock.

The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).

NasdaqGS:NWBI Past and Future Earnings, April 10th 2019

We're pleased to report that the CEO is remunerated more modestly than most CEOs at similarly capitalized companies. It's always worth keeping an eye on CEO pay, but a more important question is whether the company will grow earnings throughout the years. This free interactive report on Northwest Bancshares's earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.

What About Dividends?

As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). 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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. We note that for Northwest Bancshares the TSR over the last 3 years was 42%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!

A Different Perspective

Northwest Bancshares shareholders are up 6.5% for the year (even including dividends). Unfortunately this falls short of the market return. It's probably a good sign that the company has an even better long term track record, having provided shareholders with an annual TSR of 8.6% over five years. It's quite possible the business continues to execute with prowess, even as the share price gains are slowing. Before spending more time on Northwest Bancshares it might be wise to click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling shares.

For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.

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 editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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.