If You Had Bought Pembina Pipeline (TSE:PPL) Shares Three Years Ago You’d Have Made 28%

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By buying an index fund, you can roughly match the market return with ease. But many of us dare to dream of bigger returns, and build a portfolio ourselves. For example, the Pembina Pipeline Corporation (TSE:PPL) share price is up 28% in the last three years, clearly besting than the market return of around 14% (not including dividends). On the other hand, the returns haven’t been quite so good recently, with shareholders up just 13%, including dividends.

Check out our latest analysis for Pembina Pipeline

While the efficient markets hypothesis continues to be taught by some, it has been proven that markets are over-reactive dynamic systems, and investors are not always rational. 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).

Pembina Pipeline was able to grow its EPS at 34% per year over three years, sending the share price higher. The average annual share price increase of 8.7% is actually lower than the EPS growth. Therefore, it seems the market has moderated its expectations for growth, somewhat.

The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).

TSX:PPL Past and Future Earnings, May 12th 2019
TSX:PPL Past and Future Earnings, May 12th 2019

It’s good to see that there was some significant insider buying in the last three months. That’s a positive. On the other hand, we think the revenue and earnings trends are much more meaningful measures of the business. Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here..

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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. In the case of Pembina Pipeline, it has a TSR of 49% for the last 3 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. And there’s no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!

A Different Perspective

We’re pleased to report that Pembina Pipeline shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 13% over one year. That’s including the dividend. That gain is better than the annual TSR over five years, which is 6.3%. Therefore it seems like sentiment around the company has been positive lately. In the best case scenario, this may hint at some real business momentum, implying that now could be a great time to delve deeper. 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.

There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. You probably do not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on CA 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.