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. For instance the Finjan Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:FNJN) share price is 126% higher than it was three years ago. That sort of return is as solid as granite. It's down 2.0% in the last seven days.
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 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, Finjan Holdings 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.
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 Finjan Holdings has improved its bottom line over the last three years, but what does the future have in store? This free interactive report on Finjan Holdings's balance sheet strength is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.
A Different Perspective
Investors in Finjan Holdings had a tough year, with a total loss of 1.7%, against a market gain of about 8.2%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Unfortunately, longer term shareholders are suffering worse, given the loss of 11% doled out over the last five years. We'd need to see some sustained improvements in the key metrics before we could muster much enthusiasm. You could get a better understanding of Finjan Holdings's growth by checking out this more detailed historical graph of earnings, revenue and cash flow.
But note: Finjan Holdings may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with past earnings growth (and further growth forecast).
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.