Should NorthWestern (NYSE:NWE) Be Disappointed With Their 48% Profit?

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The simplest way to invest in stocks is to buy exchange traded funds. But in our experience, buying the right stocks can give your wealth a significant boost. For example, the NorthWestern Corporation (NYSE:NWE) share price is 48% higher than it was five years ago, which is more than the market average. We’re also happy to report the stock is up a healthy 29% in the last year.

See our latest analysis for NorthWestern

To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it’s a weighing machine. 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 five years of share price growth, NorthWestern achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 9.8% per year. The EPS growth is more impressive than the yearly share price gain of 8.1% over the same period. Therefore, it seems the market has become relatively pessimistic about the company.

NYSE:NWE Past and Future Earnings, July 8th 2019
NYSE:NWE Past and Future Earnings, July 8th 2019

We know that NorthWestern has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? Check if analysts think NorthWestern will grow revenue in the future.

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 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. As it happens, NorthWestern’s TSR for the last 5 years was 76%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.

A Different Perspective

We’re pleased to report that NorthWestern shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 34% over one year. And that does include the dividend. That gain is better than the annual TSR over five years, which is 12%. Therefore it seems like sentiment around the company has been positive lately. Someone with an optimistic perspective could view the recent improvement in TSR as indicating that the business itself is getting better with time. Most investors take the time to check the data on insider transactions. You can click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling.

Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of companies we expect will grow earnings.

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.