The main point of investing for the long term is to make money. But more than that, you probably want to see it rise more than the market average. But White Mountains Insurance Group, Ltd. (NYSE:WTM) has fallen short of that second goal, with a share price rise of 28% over five years, which is below the market return. However, more recent buyers should be happy with the increase of 23% over the last year.
Let's take a look at the underlying fundamentals over the longer term, and see if they've been consistent with shareholders returns.
While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. 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 half decade, White Mountains Insurance Group became profitable. That would generally be considered a positive, so we'd expect the share price to be up.
You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
Dive deeper into White Mountains Insurance Group's key metrics by checking this interactive graph of White Mountains Insurance Group's earnings, revenue and cash flow.
A Different Perspective
White Mountains Insurance Group provided a TSR of 24% over the year (including dividends). That's fairly close to the broader market return. That gain looks pretty satisfying, and it is even better than the five-year TSR of 5% per year. Even if the share price growth slows down from here, there's a good chance that this is business worth watching in the long term. I find it very interesting to look at share price over the long term as a proxy for business performance. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. Take risks, for example - White Mountains Insurance Group has 1 warning sign we think you should be aware of.
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 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.
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