Did Lakeland Bancorp’s (NASDAQ:LBAI) Share Price Deserve to Gain 49%?

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When we invest, we’re generally looking for stocks that outperform the market average. And in our experience, buying the right stocks can give your wealth a significant boost. For example, the Lakeland Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:LBAI) share price is up 49% in the last 5 years, clearly besting than the market return of around 39% (ignoring dividends).

View our latest analysis for Lakeland Bancorp

To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it’s a weighing machine. One imperfect but simple way to consider how the market perception of a company has shifted is to compare the change in the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price movement.

Over half a decade, Lakeland Bancorp managed to grow its earnings per share at 12% a year. This EPS growth is higher than the 8.3% average annual increase in the share price. So one could conclude that the broader market has become more cautious towards the stock.

The company’s earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).

NasdaqGS:LBAI Past and Future Earnings, June 11th 2019
NasdaqGS:LBAI Past and Future Earnings, June 11th 2019

We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Even so, future earnings will be far more important to whether current shareholders make money. This free interactive report on Lakeland Bancorp’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). 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 Lakeland Bancorp, it has a TSR of 70% for the last 5 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

Investors in Lakeland Bancorp had a tough year, with a total loss of 21% (including dividends), against a market gain of about 2.7%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. On the bright side, long term shareholders have made money, with a gain of 11% per year over half a decade. It could be that the recent sell-off is an opportunity, so it may be worth checking the fundamental data for signs of a long term growth trend. If you want to research this stock further, the data on insider buying is an obvious place to start. You can click here to see who has been buying shares – and the price they paid.

Lakeland Bancorp 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 US 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.