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Investing in ONEOK (NYSE:OKE) Three Years Ago Would Have Delivered You a 109% Gain

Simply Wall St ·  Jan 30 08:41

By buying an index fund, you can roughly match the market return with ease. But if you pick the right individual stocks, you could make more than that. For example, ONEOK, Inc. (NYSE:OKE) shareholders have seen the share price rise 74% over three years, well in excess of the market return (15%, not including dividends). However, more recent returns haven't been as impressive as that, with the stock returning just 9.7% in the last year , including dividends .

So let's assess the underlying fundamentals over the last 3 years and see if they've moved in lock-step with shareholder returns.

Check out our latest analysis for ONEOK

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 flawed but reasonable way to assess how sentiment around a company has changed is to compare the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price.

During three years of share price growth, ONEOK achieved compound earnings per share growth of 42% per year. This EPS growth is higher than the 20% average annual increase in the share price. So it seems investors have become more cautious about the company, over time.

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
NYSE:OKE Earnings Per Share Growth January 30th 2024

We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Even so, future earnings will be far more important to whether current shareholders make money. This free interactive report on ONEOK's earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.

What About Dividends?

As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). 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. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. In the case of ONEOK, it has a TSR of 109% for the last 3 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!

A Different Perspective

ONEOK shareholders gained a total return of 9.7% during the year. But that return falls short of the market. On the bright side, that's still a gain, and it's actually better than the average return of 8% over half a decade This could indicate that the company is winning over new investors, as it pursues its strategy. 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. Take risks, for example - ONEOK has 3 warning signs (and 1 which is a bit unpleasant) we think you should know about.

ONEOK 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.

Disclaimer: This content is for informational and educational purposes only and does not constitute a recommendation or endorsement of any specific investment or investment strategy. Read more
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