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CorVel's (NASDAQ:CRVL) five-year earnings growth trails the incredible shareholder returns

·2 min read

We think all investors should try to buy and hold high quality multi-year winners. And highest quality companies can see their share prices grow by huge amounts. For example, the CorVel Corporation (NASDAQ:CRVL) share price is up a whopping 476% in the last half decade, a handsome return for long term holders. If that doesn't get you thinking about long term investing, we don't know what will. It's also good to see the share price up 19% over the last quarter.

After a strong gain in the past week, it's worth seeing if longer term returns have been driven by improving fundamentals.

View our latest analysis for CorVel

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. 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.

Over half a decade, CorVel managed to grow its earnings per share at 16% a year. This EPS growth is lower than the 42% 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 five years ago. And that's hardly shocking given the track record of growth. This optimism is visible in its fairly high P/E ratio of 59.81.

You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).

earnings-per-share-growth
earnings-per-share-growth

It's probably worth noting that the CEO is paid less than the median at similar sized companies. But while CEO remuneration is always worth checking, the really important question is whether the company can grow earnings going forward. Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here..

A Different Perspective

We're pleased to report that CorVel shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 99% over one year. Since the one-year TSR is better than the five-year TSR (the latter coming in at 42% per year), it would seem that the stock's performance has improved in recent times. In the best case scenario, this may hint at some real business momentum, implying that now could be a great time to delve deeper. I find it very interesting to look at share price over the long term as a proxy for business performance. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. Take risks, for example - CorVel has 2 warning signs we think you should be aware of.

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.

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.