Weis Markets (NYSE:WMK) jumps 3.5% this week, though earnings growth is still tracking behind three-year shareholder returns

By
Simply Wall St
Published
April 15, 2022
NYSE:WMK
Source: Shutterstock

By buying an index fund, investors can approximate the average market return. But if you buy good businesses at attractive prices, your portfolio returns could exceed the average market return. Just take a look at Weis Markets, Inc. (NYSE:WMK), which is up 91%, over three years, soundly beating the market return of 48% (not including dividends). However, more recent returns haven't been as impressive as that, with the stock returning just 52% in the last year , including dividends .

Since it's been a strong week for Weis Markets shareholders, let's have a look at trend of the longer term fundamentals.

View our latest analysis for Weis Markets

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 three years of share price growth, Weis Markets achieved compound earnings per share growth of 20% per year. We note that the 24% yearly (average) share price gain isn't too far from the EPS growth rate. Coincidence? Probably not. That suggests that the market sentiment around the company hasn't changed much over that time. Au contraire, the share price change has arguably mimicked the EPS growth.

The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).

earnings-per-share-growth
NYSE:WMK Earnings Per Share Growth April 15th 2022

We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Even so, future earnings will be far more important to whether current shareholders make money. This free interactive report on Weis Markets' 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. 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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. We note that for Weis Markets the TSR over the last 3 years was 107%, 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

It's good to see that Weis Markets has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 52% in the last twelve months. Of course, that includes the dividend. Since the one-year TSR is better than the five-year TSR (the latter coming in at 8% per year), it would seem that the stock's performance has improved in recent times. Someone with an optimistic perspective could view the recent improvement in TSR as indicating that the business itself is getting better with time. It is all well and good that insiders have been buying shares, but we suggest you check here to see what price insiders were buying at.

Weis Markets 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.

Discounted cash flow calculation for every stock

Simply Wall St does a detailed discounted cash flow calculation every 6 hours for every stock on the market, so if you want to find the intrinsic value of any company just search here. It’s FREE.

Make Confident Investment Decisions

Simply Wall St's Editorial Team provides unbiased, factual reporting on global stocks using in-depth fundamental analysis.
Find out more about our editorial guidelines and team.