If You Had Bought United Bankshares (NASDAQ:UBSI) Shares Five Years Ago You’d Have Made 20%

The main point of investing for the long term is to make money. Furthermore, you’d generally like to see the share price rise faster than the market But United Bankshares, Inc. (NASDAQ:UBSI) has fallen short of that second goal, with a share price rise of 20% over five years, which is below the market return. Meanwhile, the last twelve months saw the share price rise 0.6%.

View our latest analysis for United Bankshares

While the efficient markets hypothesis continues to be taught by some, it has been proven that markets are over-reactive dynamic systems, and investors are not always rational. 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 five years of share price growth, United Bankshares achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 7.7% per year. The EPS growth is more impressive than the yearly share price gain of 3.7% over the same period. Therefore, it seems the market has become relatively pessimistic about the company.

You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).

NasdaqGS:UBSI Past and Future Earnings, March 13th 2019
NasdaqGS:UBSI Past and Future Earnings, March 13th 2019

We know that United Bankshares has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? If you’re interested, you could check this free report showing consensus revenue forecasts.

What About Dividends?

When looking at investment returns, it is important to consider the difference between total shareholder return (TSR) and share price return. 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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. We note that for United Bankshares the TSR over the last 5 years was 43%, 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

We’re pleased to report that United Bankshares shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 4.4% over one year. That’s including the dividend. However, that falls short of the 7.5% TSR per annum it has made for shareholders, each year, over five years. The pessimistic view would be that be that the stock has its best days behind it, but on the other hand the price might simply be moderating while the business itself continues to execute. Most investors take the time to check the data on insider transactions. You can click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling.

We will like United Bankshares better if we see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, 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.