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Investing in Irish Continental Group (LON:ICGC) a year ago would have delivered you a 23% gain

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On average, over time, stock markets tend to rise higher. This makes investing attractive. But if you choose that path, you're going to buy some stocks that fall short of the market. Over the last year the Irish Continental Group plc (LON:ICGC) share price is up 23%, but that's less than the broader market return. Zooming out, the stock is actually down 18% in the last three years.

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.

See our latest analysis for Irish Continental Group

To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it's a weighing machine. 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).

During the last year Irish Continental Group saw its earnings per share (EPS) drop below zero. While some may see this as temporary, we're a skeptical bunch, and so we're a little surprised to see the share price go up. It may be that the company has done well on other metrics.

Unfortunately Irish Continental Group's fell 10% over twelve months. So using a snapshot of key business metrics doesn't give us a good picture of why the market is bidding up the stock.

You can see how earnings and revenue have changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).

earnings-and-revenue-growth
earnings-and-revenue-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. If you are thinking of buying or selling Irish Continental Group stock, you should check out this free report showing analyst profit forecasts.

A Different Perspective

Irish Continental Group provided a TSR of 23% over the last twelve months. But that return falls short of the market. The silver lining is that the gain was actually better than the average annual return of 0.8% per year over five year. It is possible that returns will improve along with the business fundamentals. 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. To that end, you should be aware of the 1 warning sign we've spotted with Irish Continental Group .

Irish Continental Group 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 GB exchanges.

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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

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