Investing isn't easy. Even Warren Buffett counsels that most investors should invest in a low-cost index like the S&P 500. That way, "you'll be buying into a wonderful industry, which in effect is all of American industry," he says.
But there are, of course, companies whose long-term fortunes differ substantially from the index. In this series, we look at how individual stocks have performed against the broad S&P 500.
Step on up, Valley National Bancorp .
Valley National Bancorp shares have underperformed the S&P 500 over the past quarter-century:
Since 1987, shares have returned an average of 8.4% a year, compared with 9.7% a year for the S&P (both include dividends). One thousand dollars invested in the S&P in 1987 would be worth $19,200 today. In Valley National Bancorp, it'd be worth $13,200.
Dividends accounted for a lot of those gains. Compounded since 1987, dividends have made up 77% all of Valley National Bancorp's returns. For the S&P, dividends account for 39% of total returns.
Now have a look at how Valley National Bancorp earnings compare with S&P 500 earnings:
Underperformance here, too. Since 1995, Valley National Bancorp's earnings per share have increased by an average of 1.8% a year, compared with 6% a year for the broader index.
What's that meant for valuations? Valley National Bancorp has traded for an average of 19 times earnings since 1987 -- below the 24 times earnings for the broader S&P 500.
Through it all, shares have been slight disappointments over the past quarter-century.
Of course, the important question is whether that will continue. That's where you come in. Our CAPS community currently ranks Valley National Bancorp with a three-star rating (out of five). Care to disagree? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below, or add Valley National Bancorp to My Watchlist.
The article Stocks for the Long Run: Valley National Bancorp vs. the S&P 500 originally appeared on Fool.com.Fool contributor Morgan Housel has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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