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Those who invested in Ocean Bio-Chem (NASDAQ:OBCI) three years ago are up 166%

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While Ocean Bio-Chem, Inc. (NASDAQ:OBCI) shareholders are probably generally happy, the stock hasn't had particularly good run recently, with the share price falling 17% in the last quarter. 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 159% higher than it was. To some, the recent share price pullback wouldn't be surprising after such a good run. The thing to consider is whether the underlying business is doing well enough to support the current price.

So let's investigate and see if the longer term performance of the company has been in line with the underlying business' progress.

See our latest analysis for Ocean Bio-Chem

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...' 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.

During three years of share price growth, Ocean Bio-Chem achieved compound earnings per share growth of 43% per year. We don't think it is entirely coincidental that the EPS growth is reasonably close to the 37% average annual increase in the share price. This observation indicates that the market's attitude to the business hasn't changed all that much. Au contraire, the share price change has arguably mimicked the EPS growth.

The company's earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).

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

It's probably worth noting that the CEO is paid less than the median at similar sized 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. Dive deeper into the earnings by checking this interactive graph of Ocean Bio-Chem's 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, Ocean Bio-Chem's TSR for the last 3 years was 166%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

While the broader market gained around 0.5% in the last year, Ocean Bio-Chem shareholders lost 41% (even including dividends). However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 12%, each year, over five years. It could be that the recent sell-off is an opportunity, so it may be worth checking the fundamental data for signs of a long term growth trend. I find it very interesting to look at share price over the long term as a proxy for business performance. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. Take risks, for example - Ocean Bio-Chem has 3 warning signs (and 1 which can't be ignored) we think you should know about.

If you are like me, then you will 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.

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.