U.S. markets closed
  • S&P Futures

    4,560.75
    -15.00 (-0.33%)
     
  • Dow Futures

    34,543.00
    -79.00 (-0.23%)
     
  • Nasdaq Futures

    15,930.25
    -58.25 (-0.36%)
     
  • Russell 2000 Futures

    2,189.10
    -16.10 (-0.73%)
     
  • Crude Oil

    67.37
    +0.87 (+1.31%)
     
  • Gold

    1,774.30
    +11.60 (+0.66%)
     
  • Silver

    22.38
    +0.06 (+0.29%)
     
  • EUR/USD

    1.1299
    -0.0006 (-0.06%)
     
  • 10-Yr Bond

    1.4480
    +0.0140 (+0.98%)
     
  • Vix

    27.95
    -3.17 (-10.19%)
     
  • GBP/USD

    1.3288
    -0.0014 (-0.11%)
     
  • USD/JPY

    113.1550
    -0.0540 (-0.05%)
     
  • BTC-USD

    56,481.80
    +383.02 (+0.68%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    1,437.02
    -1.86 (-0.13%)
     
  • FTSE 100

    7,129.21
    -39.47 (-0.55%)
     
  • Nikkei 225

    27,692.34
    -61.03 (-0.22%)
     

Would Shareholders Who Purchased Ames National's (NASDAQ:ATLO) Stock Three Years Be Happy With The Share price Today?

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Many investors define successful investing as beating the market average over the long term. But the risk of stock picking is that you will likely buy under-performing companies. We regret to report that long term Ames National Corporation (NASDAQ:ATLO) shareholders have had that experience, with the share price dropping 25% in three years, versus a market return of about 61%. It's down 3.0% in the last seven days.

View our latest analysis for Ames National

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 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).

During the unfortunate three years of share price decline, Ames National actually saw its earnings per share (EPS) improve by 16% per year. Given the share price reaction, one might suspect that EPS is not a good guide to the business performance during the period (perhaps due to a one-off loss or gain). Alternatively, growth expectations may have been unreasonable in the past.

Since the change in EPS doesn't seem to correlate with the change in share price, it's worth taking a look at other metrics.

We note that the dividend seems healthy enough, so that probably doesn't explain the share price drop. It's good to see that Ames National has increased its revenue over the last three years. If the company can keep growing revenue, there may be an opportunity for investors. You might have to dig deeper to understand the recent share price weakness.

The image below shows how earnings and revenue have tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).

earnings-and-revenue-growth
earnings-and-revenue-growth

It's good to see that there was some significant insider buying in the last three months. That's a positive. On the other hand, we think the revenue and earnings trends are much more meaningful measures of the business. Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here..

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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. We note that for Ames National the TSR over the last 3 years was -16%, 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

Ames National shareholders are up 27% for the year (even including dividends). But that was short of the market average. On the bright side, that's still a gain, and it's actually better than the average return of 0.3% over half a decade This suggests the company might be improving over time. 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 Ames National by clicking this link.

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.

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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.