Passive investing in index funds can generate returns that roughly match the overall market. But you can significantly boost your returns by picking above-average stocks. For example, the Artisan Partners Asset Management Inc. (NYSE:APAM) share price is up 63% in the last year, clearly besting the market return of around 39% (not including dividends). If it can keep that out-performance up over the long term, investors will do very well! And shareholders have also done well over the long term, with an increase of 45% in the last three years.
To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it's a weighing machine. 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.
Artisan Partners Asset Management was able to grow EPS by 29% in the last twelve months. This EPS growth is significantly lower than the 63% increase in the share price. This indicates that the market is now more optimistic about the stock.
You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
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. Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here..
What About Dividends?
When looking at investment returns, it is important to consider the difference between total shareholder return (TSR) and share price return. 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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. As it happens, Artisan Partners Asset Management's TSR for the last year was 73%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!
A Different Perspective
We're pleased to report that Artisan Partners Asset Management shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 73% over one year. Of course, that includes the dividend. That's better than the annualised return of 21% over half a decade, implying that the company is doing better recently. Given the share price momentum remains strong, it might be worth taking a closer look at the stock, lest you miss an opportunity. 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. For example, we've discovered 2 warning signs for Artisan Partners Asset Management (1 is concerning!) that you should be aware of before investing here.
Artisan Partners Asset Management is not the only stock that insiders are buying. For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.
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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