BOK Financial (NASDAQ:BOKF) jumps 4.6% this week, though earnings growth is still tracking behind five-year shareholder returns

By
Simply Wall St
Published
April 20, 2022
NasdaqGS:BOKF
Source: Shutterstock

It hasn't been the best quarter for BOK Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:BOKF) shareholders, since the share price has fallen 14% in that time. But the silver lining is the stock is up over five years. However we are not very impressed because the share price is only up 15%, less than the market return of 102%.

After a strong gain in the past week, it's worth seeing if longer term returns have been driven by improving fundamentals.

See our latest analysis for BOK Financial

In his essay The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville Warren Buffett described how share prices do not always rationally reflect the value of a business. 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).

During five years of share price growth, BOK Financial achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 21% per year. This EPS growth is higher than the 3% average annual increase in the share price. Therefore, it seems the market has become relatively pessimistic about the company. The reasonably low P/E ratio of 10.25 also suggests market apprehension.

The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).

earnings-per-share-growth
NasdaqGS:BOKF Earnings Per Share Growth April 20th 2022

We're pleased to report that the CEO is remunerated more modestly than most CEOs at similarly capitalized companies. But while CEO remuneration is always worth checking, the really important question is whether the company can grow earnings going forward. This free interactive report on BOK 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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. We note that for BOK Financial the TSR over the last 5 years was 30%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!

A Different Perspective

We're pleased to report that BOK Financial shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 7.0% over one year. And that does include the dividend. That gain is better than the annual TSR over five years, which is 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. I find it very interesting to look at share price over the long term as a proxy for business performance. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 3 warning signs with BOK Financial (at least 1 which is potentially serious) , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

Of course BOK Financial may not be the best stock to buy. So you may wish to see this free collection of growth stocks.

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

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