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Herbalife Nutrition (NYSE:HLF) jumps 5.4% this week, though earnings growth is still tracking behind five-year shareholder returns

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·2-min read
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The main point of investing for the long term is to make money. Better yet, you'd like to see the share price move up more than the market average. Unfortunately for shareholders, while the Herbalife Nutrition Ltd. (NYSE:HLF) share price is up 66% in the last five years, that's less than the market return. Unfortunately the share price is down 12% in the last year.

After a strong gain in the past week, it's worth seeing if longer term returns have been driven by improving fundamentals.

Check out our latest analysis for Herbalife Nutrition

While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. By comparing earnings per share (EPS) and share price changes over time, we can get a feel for how investor attitudes to a company have morphed over time.

During five years of share price growth, Herbalife Nutrition achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 26% per year. This EPS growth is higher than the 11% average annual increase in the share price. Therefore, it seems the market has become relatively pessimistic about the company. The reasonably low P/E ratio of 9.33 also suggests market apprehension.

The company's earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).

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 Herbalife Nutrition's earnings, revenue and cash flow.

A Different Perspective

Herbalife Nutrition shareholders are down 12% for the year, but the market itself is up 16%. Even the share prices of good stocks drop sometimes, but we want to see improvements in the fundamental metrics of a business, before getting too interested. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 11%, each year, over five years. It could be that the recent sell-off is an opportunity, so it may be worth checking the fundamental data for signs of a long term growth trend. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Herbalife Nutrition better, we need to consider many other factors. For instance, we've identified 3 warning signs for Herbalife Nutrition that you should be aware of.

Herbalife Nutrition 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 US 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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