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Regions Financial's (NYSE:RF) investors will be pleased with their decent 75% return over the last three years

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·3-min read
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By buying an index fund, investors can approximate the average market return. But if you buy good businesses at attractive prices, your portfolio returns could exceed the average market return. Just take a look at Regions Financial Corporation (NYSE:RF), which is up 57%, over three years, soundly beating the market return of 36% (not including dividends).

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.

View our latest analysis for Regions Financial

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...' 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 three years of share price growth, Regions Financial achieved compound earnings per share growth of 21% per year. The average annual share price increase of 16% is actually lower than the EPS growth. Therefore, it seems the market has moderated its expectations for growth, somewhat. We'd venture the lowish P/E ratio of 8.80 also reflects the negative sentiment around the stock.

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

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

We know that Regions Financial has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? If you're interested, you could check this free report showing consensus revenue 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. 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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. We note that for Regions Financial the TSR over the last 3 years was 75%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

Although it hurts that Regions Financial returned a loss of 0.8% in the last twelve months, the broader market was actually worse, returning a loss of 11%. Of course, the long term returns are far more important and the good news is that over five years, the stock has returned 12% for each year. In the best case scenario the last year is just a temporary blip on the journey to a brighter future. Most investors take the time to check the data on insider transactions. You can click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling.

Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of companies we expect will grow earnings.

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US 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.

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