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Would Shareholders Who Purchased GAMCO Investors' (NYSE:GBL) Stock Five Years Be Happy With The Share price Today?

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GAMCO Investors, Inc. (NYSE:GBL) shareholders will doubtless be very grateful to see the share price up 51% in the last quarter. But that doesn't change the fact that the returns over the last five years have been less than pleasing. In fact, the share price is down 35%, which falls well short of the return you could get by buying an index fund.

Check out our latest analysis for GAMCO Investors

There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. By comparing earnings per share (EPS) and share price changes over time, we can get a feel for how investor attitudes to a company have morphed over time.

Looking back five years, both GAMCO Investors' share price and EPS declined; the latter at a rate of 8.4% per year. In this case, the EPS change is really very close to the share price drop of 8% a year. This suggests that market participants have not changed their view of the company all that much. Rather, the share price has approximately tracked EPS growth.

The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).

earnings-per-share-growth
earnings-per-share-growth

We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on GAMCO Investors' 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 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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. As it happens, GAMCO Investors' TSR for the last 5 years was -29%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.

A Different Perspective

GAMCO Investors shareholders are up 20% for the year (even including dividends). Unfortunately this falls short of the market return. But at least that's still a gain! Over five years the TSR has been a reduction of 5% per year, over five years. It could well be that the business is stabilizing. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand GAMCO Investors better, we need to consider many other factors. To that end, you should learn about the 2 warning signs we've spotted with GAMCO Investors (including 1 which is a bit unpleasant) .

GAMCO Investors 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.

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.