Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina, Inc. (NASDAQ:PEBK) shareholders should be happy to see the share price up 18% in the last quarter. But that doesn't help the fact that the three year return is less impressive. After all, the share price is down 35% in the last three years, significantly under-performing the market.
There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. 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).
Although the share price is down over three years, Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina actually managed to grow EPS by 4.4% per year in that time. This is quite a puzzle, and suggests there might be something temporarily buoying the share price. Alternatively, growth expectations may have been unreasonable in the past.
After considering the numbers, we'd posit that the the market had higher expectations of EPS growth, three years back. But it's possible a look at other metrics will be enlightening.
We note that, in three years, revenue has actually grown at a 4.0% annual rate, so that doesn't seem to be a reason to sell shares. This analysis is just perfunctory, but it might be worth researching Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina more closely, as sometimes stocks fall unfairly. This could present an opportunity.
You can see below how earnings and revenue have changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
Balance sheet strength is crucial. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on how its financial position has changed over time.
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. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. In the case of Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina, it has a TSR of -30% for the last 3 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.
A Different Perspective
Investors in Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina had a tough year, with a total loss of 25% (including dividends), against a market gain of about 27%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 6%, each year, over five years. If the fundamental data continues to indicate long term sustainable growth, the current sell-off could be an opportunity worth considering. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina better, we need to consider many other factors. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 1 warning sign with Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.
Of course Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina 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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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. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
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