OraSure Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:OSUR) shareholders should be happy to see the share price up 12% in the last month. But that doesn't change the fact that the returns over the last year have been less than pleasing. After all, the share price is down 49% in the last year, significantly under-performing the market.
To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it's a weighing machine. One way to examine how market sentiment has changed over time is to look at the interaction between a company's share price and its earnings per share (EPS).
Even though the OraSure Technologies share price is down over the year, its EPS actually improved. Of course, the situation might betray previous over-optimism about growth.
It's surprising to see the share price fall so much, despite the improved EPS. So it's well worth checking out some other metrics, too.
In contrast, the 4.7% drop in revenue is a real concern. If the market sees the weak revenue as jeopardising EPS, that could explain the lower share price.
The company's revenue and earnings (over time) are depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Even so, future earnings will be far more important to whether current shareholders make money. You can see what analysts are predicting for OraSure Technologies in this interactive graph of future profit estimates.
A Different Perspective
OraSure Technologies shareholders are down 49% for the year, but the market itself is up 3.7%. Even the share prices of good stocks drop sometimes, but we want to see improvements in the fundamental metrics of a business, before getting too interested. Regrettably, last year's performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 1.5% per year over five years. We realise that Buffett has said investors should 'buy when there is blood on the streets', but we caution that investors should first be sure they are buying a high quality businesses. 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.
OraSure Technologies 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.
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