By buying an index fund, investors can approximate the average market return. But if you buy good businesses at attractive prices, your portfolio returns could exceed the average market return. For example, the Akamai Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:AKAM) share price is up 47% in the last three years, clearly besting than the market return of around 39% (not including dividends). However, more recent returns haven't been as impressive as that, with the stock returning just 1.1% in the last year.
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There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect 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.
Akamai Technologies was able to grow its EPS at 5.9% per year over three years, sending the share price higher. This EPS growth is lower than the 14% 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. It's not unusual to see the market 're-rate' a stock, after a few years of growth.
You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
We know that Akamai Technologies has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? You could check out this free report showing analyst revenue forecasts.
A Different Perspective
Akamai Technologies shareholders gained a total return of 1.1% during the year. But that was short of the market average. On the bright side, the longer term returns (running at about 7.5% a year, over half a decade) look better. It's quite possible the business continues to execute with prowess, even as the share price gains are slowing. If you would like to research Akamai Technologies in more detail then you might want to take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in the company.
Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of companies we expect will grow earnings.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.
We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.