There's no doubt that investing in the stock market is a truly brilliant way to build wealth. But not every stock you buy will perform as well as the overall market. For example, the TrustCo Bank Corp NY (NASDAQ:TRST), share price is up over the last year, but its gain of 23% trails the market return. In contrast, the longer term returns are negative, since the share price is 14% lower than it was three years ago.
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.
During the last year, TrustCo Bank Corp NY actually saw its earnings per share drop 5.6%.
This means it's unlikely the market is judging the company based on earnings growth. 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.
Revenue was pretty flat year on year, but maybe a closer look at the data can explain the market optimism.
The image below shows how earnings and revenue have tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. You can see what analysts are predicting for TrustCo Bank Corp NY in this interactive graph of future profit estimates.
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. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. We note that for TrustCo Bank Corp NY the TSR over the last year was 28%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.
A Different Perspective
TrustCo Bank Corp NY shareholders gained a total return of 28% during the year. But that return falls short of the market. On the bright side, that's still a gain, and it's actually better than the average return of 7% over half a decade It is possible that returns will improve along with the business fundamentals. If you want to research this stock further, the data on insider buying is an obvious place to start. You can click here to see who has been buying shares - and the price they paid.
If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).
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.
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