In order to justify the effort of selecting individual stocks, it's worth striving to beat the returns from a market index fund. But its virtually certain that sometimes you will buy stocks that fall short of the market average returns. Unfortunately, that's been the case for longer term Codorus Valley Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:CVLY) shareholders, since the share price is down 30% in the last three years, falling well short of the market return of around 64%. There was little comfort for shareholders in the last week as the price declined a further 3.0%.
While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. 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 the three years that the share price fell, Codorus Valley Bancorp's earnings per share (EPS) dropped by 11% each year. The 11% average annual share price decline is remarkably close to the EPS decline. That suggests that the market sentiment around the company hasn't changed much over that time, despite the disappointment. In this case, it seems that the EPS is guiding the share price.
The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. This free interactive report on Codorus Valley Bancorp's earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.
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. We note that for Codorus Valley Bancorp the TSR over the last 3 years was -24%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.
A Different Perspective
Codorus Valley Bancorp provided a TSR of 22% over the last twelve months. But that was short of the market average. The silver lining is that the gain was actually better than the average annual return of 4% per year over five year. This suggests the company might be improving over 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. To that end, you should be aware of the 2 warning signs we've spotted with Codorus Valley Bancorp .
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 US exchanges.
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