Investing in Federal Agricultural Mortgage (NYSE:AGM) five years ago would have delivered you a 83% gain

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Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation (NYSE:AGM) shareholders might be concerned after seeing the share price drop 11% in the last quarter. But the silver lining is the stock is up over five years. In that time, it is up 54%, which isn’t bad, but is below the market return of 76%.

Now it’s worth having a look at the company’s fundamentals too, because that will help us determine if the long term shareholder return has matched the performance of the underlying business.

Check out our latest analysis for Federal Agricultural Mortgage

While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. 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, Federal Agricultural Mortgage achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 10% per year. So the EPS growth rate is rather close to the annualized share price gain of 9% per year. This indicates that investor sentiment towards the company has not changed a great deal. Rather, the share price has approximately tracked EPS growth.

The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).

earnings-per-share-growth

It’s good to see that there was some significant insider buying in the last three months. That’s a positive. That said, we think earnings and revenue growth trends are even more important factors to consider. Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here..

What About Dividends?

When looking at investment returns, it is important to consider the difference between total shareholder return (TSR) and share price return. 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 Federal Agricultural Mortgage, it has a TSR of 83% for the last 5 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. And there’s no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!

A Different Perspective

We’re pleased to report that Federal Agricultural Mortgage shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 5.8% over one year. And that does include the dividend. However, the TSR over five years, coming in at 13% per year, is even more impressive. The pessimistic view would be that be that the stock has its best days behind it, but on the other hand the price might simply be moderating while the business itself continues to execute. 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. For instance, we’ve identified 1 warning sign for Federal Agricultural Mortgage that 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.

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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.