Investing in First Business Financial Services (NASDAQ:FBIZ) a year ago would have delivered you a 86% gain

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If you want to compound wealth in the stock market, you can do so by buying an index fund. But you can significantly boost your returns by picking above-average stocks. For example, the First Business Financial Services, Inc. (NASDAQ:FBIZ) share price is up 81% in the last 1 year, clearly besting the market return of around 34% (not including dividends). So that should have shareholders smiling. However, the longer term returns haven’t been so impressive, with the stock up just 22% in the last three years.

So let’s investigate and see if the longer term performance of the company has been in line with the underlying business’ progress.

See our latest analysis for First Business Financial Services

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 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.

First Business Financial Services was able to grow EPS by 63% in the last twelve months. The share price gain of 81% 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.

You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).

earnings-per-share-growth

We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. 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 First Business Financial Services’ 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). 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. It’s fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. As it happens, First Business Financial Services’ TSR for the last 1 year was 86%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. And there’s no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!

A Different Perspective

We’re pleased to report that First Business Financial Services shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 86% over one year. And that does include the dividend. That gain is better than the annual TSR over five years, which is 7%. Therefore it seems like sentiment around the company has been positive lately. Given the share price momentum remains strong, it might be worth taking a closer look at the stock, lest you miss an opportunity. 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. Take risks, for example – First Business Financial Services has 1 warning sign we think you should be aware of.

First Business Financial Services is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek 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.

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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