The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc. (NYSE:THG) shareholders might be concerned after seeing the share price drop 11% in the last quarter. But at least the stock is up over the last five years. However we are not very impressed because the share price is only up 36%, less than the market return of 56%.
So let’s assess the underlying fundamentals over the last 5 years and see if they’ve moved in lock-step with shareholder returns.
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.
Over half a decade, Hanover Insurance Group managed to grow its earnings per share at 19% a year. The EPS growth is more impressive than the yearly share price gain of 6% over the same period. So it seems the market isn’t so enthusiastic about the stock these days.
The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. 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 Hanover Insurance Group’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. As it happens, Hanover Insurance Group’s TSR for the last 5 years was 61%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder returns.
A Different Perspective
It’s nice to see that Hanover Insurance Group shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 1.5% over the last year. Of course, that includes the dividends. However, the TSR over five years, coming in at 10% per year, is even more impressive. Potential buyers might understandably feel they’ve missed the opportunity, but it’s always possible business is still firing on all cylinders. 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. For instance, we’ve identified 2 warning signs for Hanover Insurance Group that you should be aware of.
Hanover Insurance Group is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a week 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.
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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.
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