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Investing in EOG Resources (NYSE:EOG) three years ago would have delivered you a 176% gain

EOG Resources, Inc. (NYSE:EOG) shareholders might be concerned after seeing the share price drop 18% in the last quarter. But in three years the returns have been great. The share price marched upwards over that time, and is now 132% higher than it was. After a run like that some may not be surprised to see prices moderate. If the business can perform well for years to come, then the recent drop could be an opportunity.

Now it's worth having a look at the company's fundamentals too, because that will help us determine if the long term shareholder return has matched the performance of the underlying business.

Check out our latest analysis for EOG Resources

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

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During three years of share price growth, EOG Resources achieved compound earnings per share growth of 64% per year. The average annual share price increase of 32% is actually lower than the EPS growth. So one could reasonably conclude that the market has cooled on the stock. We'd venture the lowish P/E ratio of 6.88 also reflects the negative sentiment around the stock.

You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).

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 EOG Resources' 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. 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. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. In the case of EOG Resources, it has a TSR of 176% for the last 3 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 5.8% in the last year, EOG Resources shareholders lost 1.3% (even including dividends). However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 1.3%, each year, over five years. If the fundamental data continues to indicate long term sustainable growth, the current sell-off could be an opportunity worth considering. 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. To that end, you should learn about the 2 warning signs we've spotted with EOG Resources (including 1 which doesn't sit too well with us) .

EOG Resources 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 American 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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