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U.S. Bancorp (NYSE:USB) stock falls 3.6% in past week as five-year earnings and shareholder returns continue downward trend

The main aim of stock picking is to find the market-beating stocks. But even the best stock picker will only win with some selections. At this point some shareholders may be questioning their investment in U.S. Bancorp (NYSE:USB), since the last five years saw the share price fall 38%. Furthermore, it's down 12% in about a quarter. That's not much fun for holders. We note that the company has reported results fairly recently; and the market is hardly delighted. You can check out the latest numbers in our company report.

After losing 3.6% this past week, it's worth investigating the company's fundamentals to see what we can infer from past performance.

View our latest analysis for U.S. Bancorp

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 five years over which the share price declined, U.S. Bancorp's earnings per share (EPS) dropped by 3.9% each year. Readers should note that the share price has fallen faster than the EPS, at a rate of 9% per year, over the period. This implies that the market was previously too optimistic about the stock. The less favorable sentiment is reflected in its current P/E ratio of 10.36.

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

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. Dive deeper into the earnings by checking this interactive graph of U.S. Bancorp's earnings, revenue and cash flow.

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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. In the case of U.S. Bancorp, it has a TSR of -24% for the last 5 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.

A Different Perspective

U.S. Bancorp shareholders are down 20% for the year (even including dividends), but the market itself is up 10%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Unfortunately, last year's performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it was worse than the annualised loss of 4% over the last half decade. Generally speaking long term share price weakness can be a bad sign, though contrarian investors might want to research the stock in hope of a turnaround. While it is well worth considering the different impacts that market conditions can have on the share price, there are other factors that are even more important. Even so, be aware that U.S. Bancorp is showing 1 warning sign in our investment analysis , you should know about...

U.S. Bancorp is not the only stock that insiders are buying. For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.

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.

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