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Volatility 101: Should PacWest Bancorp Shares Have Dropped 24%?

Simply Wall St

Investors can approximate the average market return by buying an index fund. While individual stocks can be big winners, plenty more fail to generate satisfactory returns. For example, the PacWest Bancorp (NASDAQ:PACW) share price is down 24% in the last year. That’s well bellow the market return of 4.0%. The silver lining (for longer term investors) is that the stock is still 17% higher than it was three years ago.

View our latest analysis for PacWest Bancorp

There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. 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).

Even though the PacWest Bancorp share price is down over the year, its EPS actually improved. It’s quite possible that growth expectations may have been unreasonable in the past. The divergence between the EPS and the share price is quite notable, during the year. So it’s well worth checking out some other metrics, too.

PacWest Bancorp’s dividend seems healthy to us, so we doubt that the yield is a concern for the market. From what we can see, revenue is pretty flat, so that doesn’t really explain the share price drop. Unless, of course, the market was expecting a revenue uptick.

The chart below shows how revenue and earnings have changed with time, (if you click on the chart you can see the actual values).

NasdaqGS:PACW Income Statement, March 5th 2019

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. So we recommend checking out this free report showing consensus forecasts

What About Dividends?

It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. The TSR incorporates the value of any discounted capital raisings, along with any dividends, based on the assumption that the dividends are reinvested. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. We note that for PacWest Bancorp the TSR over the last year was -20%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

Investors in PacWest Bancorp had a tough year, with a total loss of 20% (including dividends), against a market gain of about 4.0%. 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 2.9%, each year, over five years. If the fundamental data continues to indicate long term sustainable growth, the current sell-off could be an opportunity worth considering. It is all well and good that insiders have been buying shares, but we suggest you check here to see what price insiders were buying at.

PacWest Bancorp 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.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.