By buying an index fund, investors can approximate the average market return. But if you pick the right individual stocks, you could make more than that. For example, the Frontline Ltd. (NYSE:FRO) share price is up 69% in the last three years, clearly besting the market return of around 48% (not including dividends). However, more recent returns haven't been as impressive as that, with the stock returning just 19% in the last year , including dividends .
While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. 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.
Frontline became profitable within the last three years. So we would expect a higher share price over the period.
The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here..
What about the Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?
We've already covered Frontline's share price action, but we should also mention its total shareholder return (TSR). The TSR is a return calculation that accounts for the value of cash dividends (assuming that any dividend received was reinvested) and the calculated value of any discounted capital raisings and spin-offs. Dividends have been really beneficial for Frontline shareholders, and that cash payout contributed to why its TSR of 107%, over the last 3 years, is better than the share price return.
A Different Perspective
Frontline shareholders are up 19% for the year. But that return falls short of the market. On the bright side, that's still a gain, and it's actually better than the average return of 6% over half a decade This suggests the company might be improving over time. While it is well worth considering the different impacts that market conditions can have on the share price, there are other factors that are even more important. Even so, be aware that Frontline is showing 2 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 1 of those is a bit concerning...
If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).
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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