The main point of investing for the long term is to make money. But more than that, you probably want to see it rise more than the market average. Unfortunately for shareholders, while the Amerisafe, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMSF) share price is up 39% in the last five years, that’s less than the market return. But if you include dividends then the return is market-beating. Zooming in, the stock is up a respectable 8.7% in the last year.
In his essay The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville Warren Buffett described how share prices do not always rationally reflect the value of a business. One flawed but reasonable way to assess how sentiment around a company has changed is to compare the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price.
Over half a decade, Amerisafe managed to grow its earnings per share at 9.5% a year. This EPS growth is higher than the 6.8% average annual increase in the share price. Therefore, it seems the market has become relatively pessimistic about the company.
The company’s earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
We know that Amerisafe has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? You could check out this free report showing analyst revenue forecasts.
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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. In the case of Amerisafe, it has a TSR of 90% for the last 5 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
It’s nice to see that Amerisafe shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 17% over the last year. That’s including the dividend. That gain is better than the annual TSR over five years, which is 14%. Therefore it seems like sentiment around the company has been positive lately. In the best case scenario, this may hint at some real business momentum, implying that now could be a great time to delve deeper. If you would like to research Amerisafe in more detail then you might want to take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in the company.
But note: Amerisafe may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with past earnings growth (and further growth forecast).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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If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.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.