One simple way to benefit from the stock market is to buy an index fund. But if you pick the right individual stocks, you could make more than that. For example, the Pembina Pipeline Corporation (TSE:PPL) share price is up 47% in the last three years, clearly besting than the market return of around 17% (not including dividends). However, more recent returns haven’t been as impressive as that, with the stock returning just 36% in the last year, including dividends.
To quote Buffett, ‘Ships will sail around the world but the Flat Earth Society will flourish. There will continue to be wide discrepancies between price and value in the marketplace…’ 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.
During three years of share price growth, Pembina Pipeline achieved compound earnings per share growth of 31% per year. The average annual share price increase of 14% is actually lower than the EPS growth. So it seems investors have become more cautious about the company, over time.
The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).
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 is a return calculation that accounts for the value of cash dividends (assuming that any dividend received was reinvested) and the calculated value of any discounted capital raisings and spin-offs. 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 70% 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 36% over one year. Of course, that includes the dividend. That gain is better than the annual TSR over five years, which is 8.5%. 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. Investors who like to make money usually check up on insider purchases, such as the price paid, and total amount bought. You can find out about the insider purchases of Pembina Pipeline by clicking this link.
Pembina Pipeline 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 CA exchanges.
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If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.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.