The worst result, after buying shares in a company (assuming no leverage), would be if you lose all the money you put in. But on the bright side, if you buy shares in a high quality company at the right price, you can gain well over 100%. One great example is Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL) which saw its share price drive 120% higher over five years. Also pleasing for shareholders was the 40% gain in the last three months.
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.
In his essay The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville Warren Buffett described how share prices do not always rationally reflect the value of a business. 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).
Over half a decade, Alphabet managed to grow its earnings per share at 31% a year. This EPS growth is higher than the 17% average annual increase in the share price. So it seems the market isn't so enthusiastic about the stock these days.
You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
Dive deeper into Alphabet's key metrics by checking this interactive graph of Alphabet's earnings, revenue and cash flow.
A Different Perspective
It's good to see that Alphabet has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 11% in the last twelve months. However, that falls short of the 17% TSR per annum it has made for shareholders, each year, over five years. The pessimistic view would be that be that the stock has its best days behind it, but on the other hand the price might simply be moderating while the business itself continues to execute. Before deciding if you like the current share price, check how Alphabet scores on these 3 valuation metrics.
But note: Alphabet may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with past earnings growth (and further growth forecast).
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on American exchanges.
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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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