By buying an index fund, investors can approximate the average market return. But if you buy good businesses at attractive prices, your portfolio returns could exceed the average market return. Just take a look at SpareBank 1 SMN (OB:MING), which is up 90%, over three years, soundly beating the market return of 19% (not including dividends). On the other hand, the returns haven’t been quite so good recently, with shareholders up just 15%, including dividends.
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.
SpareBank 1 SMN was able to grow its EPS at 6.9% per year over three years, sending the share price higher. This EPS growth is lower than the 24% average annual increase in the share price. So it’s fair to assume the market has a higher opinion of the business than it did three years ago. It is quite common to see investors become enamoured with a business, after a few years of solid progress.
We know that SpareBank 1 SMN has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? This free report showing analyst revenue forecasts should help you figure out if the EPS growth can be sustained.
What About Dividends?
As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). 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. As it happens, SpareBank 1 SMN’s TSR for the last 3 years was 121%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
It’s nice to see that SpareBank 1 SMN shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 15% over the last year. That’s including the dividend. However, that falls short of the 17% TSR per annum it has made for shareholders, each year, over five years. If you would like to research SpareBank 1 SMN in more detail then you might want to take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in the company.
For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on NO 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 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.