We believe investing is smart because history shows that stock markets go higher in the long term. But not every stock you buy will perform as well as the overall market. Unfortunately for shareholders, while the The National Security Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:NSEC) share price is up 22% in the last year, that falls short of the market return. In contrast, the longer term returns are negative, since the share price is 9.2% lower than it was three years ago.
To quote Buffett, ‘Ships will sail around the world but the Flat Earth Society will flourish. There will continue to be wide discrepancies between price and value in the marketplace…’ 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 the last year, National Security Group actually saw its earnings per share drop 51%.
This means it’s unlikely the market is judging the company based on earnings growth. Since the change in EPS doesn’t seem to correlate with the change in share price, it’s worth taking a look at other metrics.
We are skeptical of the suggestion that the 1.6% dividend yield would entice buyers to the stock. Revenue was pretty flat year on year, but maybe a closer look at the data can explain the market optimism.
The graphic below depicts how earnings and revenue have changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).
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. Dive deeper into the earnings by checking this interactive graph of National Security Group’s earnings, revenue and cash flow.
What About Dividends?
It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. 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. It’s fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. As it happens, National Security Group’s TSR for the last year was 25%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
National Security Group’s TSR for the year was broadly in line with the market average, at 25%. That gain looks pretty satisfying, and it is even better than the five-year TSR of 4.1% per year. Even if the share price growth slows down from here, there’s a good chance that this is business worth watching in the long term. 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. For instance, we’ve identified 4 warning signs for National Security Group (1 is potentially serious) that you should be aware of.
National Security Group 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.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
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. Thank you for reading.