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Investing in Diamond Hill Investment Group (NASDAQ:DHIL) a year ago would have delivered you a 49% 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 one can do better than that by picking better than average stocks (as part of a diversified portfolio). For example, the Diamond Hill Investment Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:DHIL) share price is up 35% in the last 1 year, clearly besting the market return of around 28% (not including dividends). So that should have shareholders smiling. However, the stock hasn't done so well in the longer term, with the stock only up 10% in three years.

With that in mind, it's worth seeing if the company's underlying fundamentals have been the driver of long term performance, or if there are some discrepancies.

See our latest analysis for Diamond Hill Investment Group

While the efficient markets hypothesis continues to be taught by some, it has been proven that markets are over-reactive dynamic systems, and investors are not always rational. 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.

During the last year Diamond Hill Investment Group grew its earnings per share (EPS) by 50%. This EPS growth is significantly higher than the 35% increase in the share price. So it seems like the market has cooled on Diamond Hill Investment Group, despite the growth. Interesting. This cautious sentiment is reflected in its (fairly low) P/E ratio of 10.92.

The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).

earnings-per-share-growth
earnings-per-share-growth

We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. This free interactive report on Diamond Hill Investment Group's earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.

What About Dividends?

It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. The TSR incorporates the value of any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings, along with any dividends, based on the assumption that the dividends are reinvested. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. As it happens, Diamond Hill Investment Group's TSR for the last 1 year was 49%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.

A Different Perspective

We're pleased to report that Diamond Hill Investment Group shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 49% over one year. Of course, that includes the dividend. That gain is better than the annual TSR over five years, which is 6%. Therefore it seems like sentiment around the company has been positive lately. Someone with an optimistic perspective could view the recent improvement in TSR as indicating that the business itself is getting better with time. 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. To that end, you should learn about the 2 warning signs we've spotted with Diamond Hill Investment Group (including 1 which is concerning) .

If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).

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.

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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