Investing in Citizens Community Bancorp (NASDAQ:CZWI) three years ago would have delivered you a 20% gain

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It hasn’t been the best quarter for Citizens Community Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:CZWI) shareholders, since the share price has fallen 23% in that time. But at least the stock is up over the last three years. In that time, it is up 13%, which isn’t bad, but not amazing either.

So let’s assess the underlying fundamentals over the last 3 years and see if they’ve moved in lock-step with shareholder returns.

See our latest analysis for Citizens Community Bancorp

To quote Buffett, ‘Ships will sail around the world but the Flat Earth Society will flourish. There will continue to be wide discrepancies between price and value in the marketplace…’ One flawed but reasonable way to assess how sentiment around a company has changed is to compare the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price.

Citizens Community Bancorp was able to grow its EPS at 62% per year over three years, sending the share price higher. This EPS growth is higher than the 4% average annual increase in the share price. So it seems investors have become more cautious about the company, over time. This cautious sentiment is reflected in its (fairly low) P/E ratio of 6.46.

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 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. Dive deeper into the earnings by checking this interactive graph of Citizens Community Bancorp’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). 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. In the case of Citizens Community Bancorp, it has a TSR of 20% for the last 3 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

While it’s never nice to take a loss, Citizens Community Bancorp shareholders can take comfort that , including dividends,their trailing twelve month loss of 2.5% wasn’t as bad as the market loss of around 9.4%. Unfortunately, last year’s performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it’s worse than the annualised loss of 0.7% over the last half decade. Whilst Baron Rothschild does tell the investor “buy when there’s blood in the streets, even if the blood is your own”, buyers would need to examine the data carefully to be comfortable that the business itself is sound. 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. Case in point: We’ve spotted 3 warning signs for Citizens Community Bancorp you should be aware of, and 1 of them is potentially serious.

Citizens Community Bancorp 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.

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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.