Did You Miss Capital One Financial's (NYSE:COF) 21% Share Price Gain?

If you buy and hold a stock for many years, you'd hope to be making a profit. Furthermore, you'd generally like to see the share price rise faster than the market Unfortunately for shareholders, while the Capital One Financial Corporation (NYSE:COF) share price is up 21% in the last five years, that's less than the market return. Over the last twelve months the stock price has risen a very respectable 12%.

Check out our latest analysis for Capital One Financial

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 way to examine how market sentiment has changed over time is to look at the interaction between a company's share price and its earnings per share (EPS).

During five years of share price growth, Capital One Financial achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 8.6% per year. The EPS growth is more impressive than the yearly share price gain of 3.9% over the same period. So one could conclude that the broader market has become more cautious towards the stock. The reasonably low P/E ratio of 8.87 also suggests market apprehension.

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

We know that Capital One Financial has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? If you're interested, you could check this free report showing consensus revenue forecasts.

What About Dividends?

It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. 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. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. As it happens, Capital One Financial's TSR for the last 5 years was 33%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

We're pleased to report that Capital One Financial shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 14% over one year. And that does include the dividend. That's better than the annualised return of 5.9% over half a decade, implying that the company is doing better recently. Someone with an optimistic perspective could view the recent improvement in TSR as indicating that the business itself is getting better with time. Most investors take the time to check the data on insider transactions. You can click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling.

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.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at [email protected]. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Thank you for reading.