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Polar Capital Holdings (LON:POLR) shareholders have endured a 18% loss from investing in the stock three years ago

As an investor its worth striving to ensure your overall portfolio beats the market average. But the risk of stock picking is that you will likely buy under-performing companies. We regret to report that long term Polar Capital Holdings Plc (LON:POLR) shareholders have had that experience, with the share price dropping 35% in three years, versus a market return of about 15%.

So let's have a look and see if the longer term performance of the company has been in line with the underlying business' progress.

See our latest analysis for Polar Capital Holdings

There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect 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.

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Polar Capital Holdings saw its EPS decline at a compound rate of 7.7% per year, over the last three years. This reduction in EPS is slower than the 14% annual reduction in the share price. So it's likely that the EPS decline has disappointed the market, leaving investors hesitant to buy.

You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).

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. Dive deeper into the earnings by checking this interactive graph of Polar Capital Holdings' earnings, revenue and cash flow.

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 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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. We note that for Polar Capital Holdings the TSR over the last 3 years was -18%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.

A Different Perspective

Polar Capital Holdings shareholders are up 2.7% for the year (even including dividends). But that was short of the market average. If we look back over five years, the returns are even better, coming in at 4% per year for five years. It may well be that this is a business worth popping on the watching, given the continuing positive reception, over time, from the market. 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 2 warning signs for Polar Capital Holdings you should be aware of.

Polar Capital Holdings 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 British exchanges.

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

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.