The simplest way to invest in stocks is to buy exchange traded funds. But you can do a lot better than that by buying good quality businesses for attractive prices. For example, the Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) share price is up 100% in the last five years, slightly above the market return. It's fair to say the stock has continued its long term trend in the last year, over which it has risen 39%.
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, Intel managed to grow its earnings per share at 16% a year. This EPS growth is reasonably close to the 15% average annual increase in the share price. That suggests that the market sentiment around the company hasn't changed much over that time. Rather, the share price has approximately tracked EPS growth.
The company's earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
It's probably worth noting we've seen significant insider buying in the last quarter, which we consider a positive. That said, we think earnings and revenue growth trends are even more important factors to consider. This free interactive report on Intel's earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.
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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. In the case of Intel, it has a TSR of 128% for the last 5 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!
A Different Perspective
Intel shareholders gained a total return of 43% during 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 18% over half a decade This suggests the company might be improving over time. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Intel better, we need to consider many other factors. For example, we've discovered 3 warning signs for Intel (1 is a bit unpleasant!) that you should be aware of before investing here.
Intel 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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