Did Chemung Financial’s (NASDAQ:CHMG) Share Price Deserve to Gain 46%?

The main point of investing for the long term is to make money. Furthermore, you’d generally like to see the share price rise faster than the market But Chemung Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:CHMG) has fallen short of that second goal, with a share price rise of 46% over five years, which is below the market return. But if you include dividends then the return is market-beating. The last year has been disappointing, with the stock price down 7.3% in that time.

See our latest analysis for Chemung Financial

While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. One flawed but reasonable way to assess how sentiment around a company has changed is to compare the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price.

Over half a decade, Chemung Financial managed to grow its earnings per share at 13% a year. This EPS growth is higher than the 7.9% average annual increase in the share price. Therefore, it seems the market has become relatively pessimistic about the company.

You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).

NasdaqGS:CHMG Past and Future Earnings, February 1st 2020
NasdaqGS:CHMG Past and Future Earnings, February 1st 2020

This free interactive report on Chemung Financial’s earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.

What About Dividends?

As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). 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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. As it happens, Chemung Financial’s TSR for the last 5 years was 69%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. And there’s no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!

A Different Perspective

Investors in Chemung Financial had a tough year, with a total loss of 5.2% (including dividends) , against a market gain of about 20%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. On the bright side, long term shareholders have made money, with a gain of 11% per year over half a decade. 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. It’s always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Chemung Financial better, we need to consider many other factors. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We’ve identified 1 warning sign with Chemung Financial , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

We will like Chemung Financial better if we see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, 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.

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.

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. Thank you for reading.