The simplest way to invest in stocks is to buy exchange traded funds. But if you pick the right individual stocks, you could make more than that. To wit, the Ardmore Shipping Corporation (NYSE:ASC) share price is 89% higher than it was a year ago, much better than the market return of around 30% (not including dividends) in the same period. If it can keep that out-performance up over the long term, investors will do very well! Having said that, the longer term returns aren't so impressive, with stock gaining just 19% in three years.
Ardmore Shipping wasn't profitable in the last twelve months, it is unlikely we'll see a strong correlation between its share price and its earnings per share (EPS). Arguably revenue is our next best option. When a company doesn't make profits, we'd generally expect to see good revenue growth. As you can imagine, fast revenue growth, when maintained, often leads to fast profit growth.
In the last year Ardmore Shipping saw its revenue grow by 14%. That's a fairly respectable growth rate. Buyers pushed the share price 89% in response, which isn't unreasonable. If revenue stays on trend, there may be plenty more share price gains to come. But it's crucial to check profitability and cash flow before forming a view on the future.
The image below shows how earnings and revenue have tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
You can see how its balance sheet has strengthened (or weakened) over time in this free interactive graphic.
What about the Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?
We'd be remiss not to mention the difference between Ardmore Shipping's total shareholder return (TSR) and its share price return. The TSR is a return calculation that accounts for the value of cash dividends (assuming that any dividend received was reinvested) and the calculated value of any discounted capital raisings and spin-offs. Dividends have been really beneficial for Ardmore Shipping shareholders, and that cash payout contributed to why its TSR of 89%, over the last year, is better than the share price return.
A Different Perspective
It's nice to see that Ardmore Shipping shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 89% over the last year. There's no doubt those recent returns are much better than the TSR loss of 3.6% per year over five years. 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. You might want to assess this data-rich visualization of its earnings, revenue and cash flow.
If you would prefer to check out another company -- one with potentially superior financials -- then do not miss this free list of companies that have proven they can grow earnings.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
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