Passive investing in index funds can generate returns that roughly match the overall market. But one can do better than that by picking better than average stocks (as part of a diversified portfolio). For example, the AMERCO (NASDAQ:UHAL) share price is up 84% in the last year, clearly besting the market return of around 39% (not including dividends). So that should have shareholders smiling. Also impressive, the stock is up 56% over three years, making long term shareholders happy, too.
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. 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.
AMERCO was able to grow EPS by 38% in the last twelve months. The share price gain of 84% certainly outpaced the EPS growth. So it's fair to assume the market has a higher opinion of the business than it a year ago.
The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
We're pleased to report that the CEO is remunerated more modestly than most CEOs at similarly capitalized companies. But while CEO remuneration is always worth checking, the really important question is whether the company can grow earnings going forward. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on AMERCO's earnings, revenue and cash flow.
A Different Perspective
It's good to see that AMERCO has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 86% in the last twelve months. And that does include the dividend. That gain is better than the annual TSR over five years, which is 9%. 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. 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. Case in point: We've spotted 1 warning sign for AMERCO you should be aware of.
We will like AMERCO better if we see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, 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.
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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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