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Despite the downward trend in earnings at Visteon (NASDAQ:VC) the stock grows 4.3%, bringing three-year gains to 42%

One simple way to benefit from the stock market is to buy an index fund. But if you choose individual stocks with prowess, you can make superior returns. For example, Visteon Corporation (NASDAQ:VC) shareholders have seen the share price rise 42% over three years, well in excess of the market return (18%, not including dividends). On the other hand, the returns haven't been quite so good recently, with shareholders up just 9.9%.

Since the stock has added US$139m to its market cap in the past week alone, let's see if underlying performance has been driving long-term returns.

Check out our latest analysis for Visteon

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.

During the three years of share price growth, Visteon actually saw its earnings per share (EPS) drop 0.8% per year.

Based on these numbers, we think that the decline in earnings per share may not be a good representation of how the business has changed over the years. Since the change in EPS doesn't seem to correlate with the change in share price, it's worth taking a look at other metrics.

Do you think that shareholders are buying for the 0.6% per annum revenue growth trend? We don't. While we don't have an obvious theory to explain the share price rise, a closer look at the data might be enlightening.

The image below shows how earnings and revenue have tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).

earnings-and-revenue-growth
earnings-and-revenue-growth

Visteon is well known by investors, and plenty of clever analysts have tried to predict the future profit levels. So we recommend checking out this free report showing consensus forecasts

A Different Perspective

It's good to see that Visteon has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 9.9% in the last twelve months. That certainly beats the loss of about 0.5% per year over the last half decade. We generally put more weight on the long term performance over the short term, but the recent improvement could hint at a (positive) inflection point within the business. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Visteon better, we need to consider many other factors. For instance, we've identified 2 warning signs for Visteon (1 is significant) that you should be aware of.

Of course Visteon may not be the best stock to buy. So you may wish to see this free collection of growth stocks.

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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