On average, over time, stock markets tend to rise higher. This makes investing attractive. But if when you choose to buy stocks, some of them will be below average performers. Over the last year the Albertsons Companies, Inc. (NYSE:ACI) share price is up 30%, but that's less than the broader market return. Note that businesses generally develop over the long term, so the returns over the last year might not reflect a long term trend.
While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. One imperfect but simple way to consider how the market perception of a company has shifted is to compare the change in the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price movement.
Albertsons Companies was able to grow EPS by 87% in the last twelve months. This EPS growth is significantly higher than the 30% increase in the share price. So it seems like the market has cooled on Albertsons Companies, despite the growth. Interesting.
The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).
We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. This free interactive report on Albertsons Companies' earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.
What About Dividends?
When looking at investment returns, it is important to consider the difference between total shareholder return (TSR) and share price return. 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 Albertsons Companies, it has a TSR of 32% for the last year. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
We're happy to report that Albertsons Companies are up 32% over the year (even including dividends). The bad news is that's no better than the average market return, which was roughly 48%. The last three months haven't been so kind to Albertsons Companies, with the share price gaining just 2.9%. It seems likely the market is waiting on fundamental developments with the business before pushing the share price higher (or lower). 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. Consider risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 3 warning signs for Albertsons Companies you should know about.
There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. You probably do 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. 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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