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If you buy and hold a stock for many years, you’d hope to be making a profit. But more than that, you probably want to see it rise more than the market average. Unfortunately for shareholders, while the Summit State Bank (NASDAQ:SSBI) share price is up 14% in the last five years, that’s less than the market return. The last year hasn’t been great either, with the stock up just 2.4%.

See our latest analysis for Summit State Bank

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.

During five years of share price growth, Summit State Bank achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 5.8% per year. This EPS growth is higher than the 3% average annual increase in the share price. Therefore, it seems the market has become relatively pessimistic about the company. This cautious sentiment is reflected in its (fairly low) P/E ratio of 8.77.

The company’s earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).

earnings-per-share-growth

We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Even so, future earnings will be far more important to whether current shareholders make money. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on Summit State Bank’s earnings, revenue and cash flow.

What About Dividends?

As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). Whereas the share price return only reflects the change in the share price, the TSR includes the value of dividends (assuming they were reinvested) and the benefit of any discounted capital raising or spin-off. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. In the case of Summit State Bank, it has a TSR of 37% for the last 5 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.

A Different Perspective

Summit State Bank shareholders are up 6.9% for the year (even including dividends). 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 7% over half a decade This could indicate that the company is winning over new investors, as it pursues its strategy. 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 2 warning signs for Summit State Bank you should be aware of.

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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