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Those who invested in Summit Materials (NYSE:SUM) three years ago are up 153%

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The most you can lose on any stock (assuming you don't use leverage) is 100% of your money. But when you pick a company that is really flourishing, you can make more than 100%. For instance the Summit Materials, Inc. (NYSE:SUM) share price is 153% higher than it was three years ago. That sort of return is as solid as granite. Also pleasing for shareholders was the 14% gain in the last three months.

Let's take a look at the underlying fundamentals over the longer term, and see if they've been consistent with shareholders returns.

View our latest analysis for Summit Materials

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 flawed but reasonable way to assess how sentiment around a company has changed is to compare the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price.

Summit Materials was able to grow its EPS at 11% per year over three years, sending the share price higher. This EPS growth is lower than the 36% average annual increase in the share price. So it's fair to assume the market has a higher opinion of the business than it did three years ago. That's not necessarily surprising considering the three-year track record of earnings growth.

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

Dive deeper into Summit Materials' key metrics by checking this interactive graph of Summit Materials's earnings, revenue and cash flow.

A Different Perspective

We're pleased to report that Summit Materials shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 63% over one year. That's better than the annualised return of 10% over half a decade, implying that the company is doing better recently. Someone with an optimistic perspective could view the recent improvement in TSR as indicating that the business itself is getting better with time. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Summit Materials better, we need to consider many other factors. Even so, be aware that Summit Materials is showing 3 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 1 of those is potentially serious...

But note: Summit Materials 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 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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