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abrdn's (LON:ABDN) underlying earnings growth outpaced the return generated for shareholders over the past five years

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  • SLFPF
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For many, the main point of investing is to generate higher returns than the overall market. But the main game is to find enough winners to more than offset the losers So we wouldn't blame long term abrdn plc (LON:ABDN) shareholders for doubting their decision to hold, with the stock down 36% over a half decade.

Since abrdn has shed UK£209m from its value in the past 7 days, let's see if the longer term decline has been driven by the business' economics.

See our latest analysis for abrdn

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 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).

abrdn became profitable within the last five years. Most would consider that to be a good thing, so it's counter-intuitive to see the share price declining. Other metrics might give us a better handle on how its value is changing over time.

The most recent dividend was actually lower than it was in the past, so that may have sent the share price lower. On top of that, revenue has declined by 39% per year over the half decade; that could be a red flag for some investors.

You can see below how earnings and revenue have changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).

earnings-and-revenue-growth
earnings-and-revenue-growth

It's probably worth noting we've seen significant insider buying in the last quarter, which we consider a positive. That said, we think earnings and revenue growth trends are even more important factors to consider. So we recommend checking out this free report showing consensus forecasts

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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. In the case of abrdn, it has a TSR of 6.9% 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

While the broader market gained around 19% in the last year, abrdn shareholders lost 0.9% (even including dividends). However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. On the bright side, long term shareholders have made money, with a gain of 1.3% per year over half a decade. It could be that the recent sell-off is an opportunity, so it may be worth checking the fundamental data for signs of a long term growth trend. 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 - abrdn has 3 warning signs (and 2 which are a bit unpleasant) we think you should know about.

abrdn is not the only stock that insiders are buying. 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 GB 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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

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