It hasn't been the best quarter for Primerica, Inc. (NYSE:PRI) shareholders, since the share price has fallen 25% in that time. On the bright side the share price is up over the last half decade. However we are not very impressed because the share price is only up 51%, less than the market return of 86%.
Since the long term performance has been good but there's been a recent pullback of 11%, let's check if the fundamentals match the share price.
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. One way to examine how market sentiment has changed over time is to look at the interaction between a company's share price and its earnings per share (EPS).
During five years of share price growth, Primerica achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 15% per year. This EPS growth is higher than the 9% average annual increase in the share price. So one could conclude that the broader market has become more cautious towards the stock.
You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here.
What About Dividends?
As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the 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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. As it happens, Primerica's TSR for the last 5 years was 60%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
While the broader market lost about 8.4% in the twelve months, Primerica shareholders did even worse, losing 28% (even including dividends). However, it could simply be that the share price has been impacted by broader market jitters. It might be worth keeping an eye on the fundamentals, in case there's a good opportunity. On the bright side, long term shareholders have made money, with a gain of 10% per year over half a decade. If the fundamental data continues to indicate long term sustainable growth, the current sell-off could be an opportunity worth considering. 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. Take risks, for example - Primerica has 2 warning signs we think you should be aware of.
If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.
This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.