Stifel Financial's (NYSE:SF) investors will be pleased with their stellar 137% return over the last three years
Stifel Financial Corp. (NYSE:SF) shareholders have seen the share price descend 12% over the month. But that doesn't undermine the rather lovely longer-term return, if you measure over the last three years. The share price marched upwards over that time, and is now 127% higher than it was. It's not uncommon to see a share price retrace a bit, after a big gain. The fundamental business performance will ultimately dictate whether the top is in, or if this is a stellar buying opportunity.
So let's assess the underlying fundamentals over the last 3 years and see if they've moved in lock-step with shareholder returns.
See our latest analysis for Stifel Financial
To quote Buffett, 'Ships will sail around the world but the Flat Earth Society will flourish. There will continue to be wide discrepancies between price and value in the marketplace...' 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.
Stifel Financial was able to grow its EPS at 14% per year over three years, sending the share price higher. This EPS growth is lower than the 31% average annual increase in the share price. This indicates that the market is feeling more optimistic on the stock, after the last few years of progress. It is quite common to see investors become enamoured with a business, after a few years of solid progress.
The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
It's good to see that there was some significant insider buying in the last three months. That's a positive. That said, we think earnings and revenue growth trends are even more important factors to consider. 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. Whereas the share price return only reflects the change in the share price, the TSR includes the value of dividends (assuming they were reinvested) and the benefit of any discounted capital raising or spin-off. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. As it happens, Stifel Financial's TSR for the last 3 years was 137%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.
A Different Perspective
The total return of 14% received by Stifel Financial shareholders over the last year isn't far from the market return of -15%. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 10%, each year, over five years. If the fundamental data remains strong, and the share price is simply down on sentiment, then this could be an opportunity worth investigating. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Stifel Financial better, we need to consider many other factors. Even so, be aware that Stifel Financial is showing 1 warning sign in our investment analysis , you should know about...
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 American exchanges.
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.
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.
Join A Paid User Research Session
You’ll receive a US$30 Amazon Gift card for 1 hour of your time while helping us build better investing tools for the individual investors like yourself. Sign up here