When you buy shares in a company, it's worth keeping in mind the possibility that it could fail, and you could lose your money. But on a lighter note, a good company can see its share price rise well over 100%. For instance, the price of Ciena Corporation (NYSE:CIEN) stock is up an impressive 138% over the last five years.
While the efficient markets hypothesis continues to be taught by some, it has been proven that markets are over-reactive dynamic systems, and investors are not always rational. 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.
During the five years of share price growth, Ciena moved from a loss to profitability. That kind of transition can be an inflection point that justifies a strong share price gain, just as we have seen here. Since the company was unprofitable five years ago, but not three years ago, it's worth taking a look at the returns in the last three years, too. We can see that the Ciena share price is up 80% in the last three years. Meanwhile, EPS is up 112% per year. This EPS growth is higher than the 22% average annual increase in the share price over the same three years. Therefore, it seems the market has moderated its expectations for growth, somewhat.
The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).
We know that Ciena has improved its bottom line over the last three years, but what does the future have in store? Take a more thorough look at Ciena's financial health with this free report on its balance sheet.
A Different Perspective
We're pleased to report that Ciena shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 26% over one year. Since the one-year TSR is better than the five-year TSR (the latter coming in at 19% per year), it would seem that the stock's performance has improved in recent times. Given the share price momentum remains strong, it might be worth taking a closer look at the stock, lest you miss an opportunity. Before spending more time on Ciena it might be wise to click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling shares.
If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.
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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.