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Markel Group's (NYSE:MKL) investors will be pleased with their favorable 55% return over the last five years

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. Unfortunately for shareholders, while the Markel Group Inc. (NYSE:MKL) share price is up 55% in the last five years, that's less than the market return. On a brighter note, more newer shareholders are probably rather content with the 25% share price gain over twelve months.

So let's assess the underlying fundamentals over the last 5 years and see if they've moved in lock-step with shareholder returns.

View our latest analysis for Markel Group

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 five years of share price growth, Markel Group achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 38% per year. This EPS growth is higher than the 9% average annual increase in the share price. Therefore, it seems the market has become relatively pessimistic about the company. This cautious sentiment is reflected in its (fairly low) P/E ratio of 8.72.

The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).

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. Dive deeper into the earnings by checking this interactive graph of Markel Group's earnings, revenue and cash flow.

A Different Perspective

Markel Group shareholders gained a total return of 25% during the year. But that was short of the market average. On the bright side, that's still a gain, and it's actually better than the average return of 9% over half a decade This could indicate that the company is winning over new investors, as it pursues its strategy. 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. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 1 warning sign with Markel Group , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: most of them are flying under the radar).

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.