The worst result, after buying shares in a company (assuming no leverage), would be if you lose all the money you put in. But if you buy shares in a really great company, you can more than double your money. To wit, the Ameresco, Inc. (NYSE:AMRC) share price has flown 174% in the last three years. That sort of return is as solid as granite. Also pleasing for shareholders was the 15% gain in the last three months. But this move may well have been assisted by the reasonably buoyant market (up 7.6% in 90 days).
There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. One imperfect but simple way to consider how the market perception of a company has shifted is to compare the change in the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price movement.
During three years of share price growth, Ameresco achieved compound earnings per share growth of 65% per year. The average annual share price increase of 40% is actually lower than the EPS growth. So one could reasonably conclude that the market has cooled on the stock.
The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. 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 Ameresco's earnings, revenue and cash flow.
A Different Perspective
Ameresco provided a TSR of 5.9% over the last twelve months. Unfortunately this falls short of the market return. It's probably a good sign that the company has an even better long term track record, having provided shareholders with an annual TSR of 17% over five years. Maybe the share price is just taking a breather while the business executes on its growth strategy. It is all well and good that insiders have been buying shares, but we suggest you check here to see what price insiders were buying at.
Ameresco 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.
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.
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. Thank you for reading.