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Did You Miss Educational Development's (NASDAQ:EDUC) Impressive 271% Share Price Gain?

Simply Wall St

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Educational Development Corporation (NASDAQ:EDUC) shareholders might be concerned after seeing the share price drop 18% in the last month. But in stark contrast, the returns over the last half decade have impressed. Indeed, the share price is up an impressive 271% in that time. So while it's never fun to see a share price fall, it's important to look at a longer time horizon. Only time will tell if there is still too much optimism currently reflected in the share price.

Check out our latest analysis for Educational Development

There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. 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 five years of share price growth, Educational Development achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 78% per year. This EPS growth is higher than the 30% average annual increase in the share price. So it seems the market isn't so enthusiastic about the stock these days. This cautious sentiment is reflected in its (fairly low) P/E ratio of 8.87.

The company's earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).

NasdaqGM:EDUC Past and Future Earnings, June 4th 2019

We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. This free interactive report on Educational Development's earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.

What About Dividends?

As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). The TSR incorporates the value of any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings, along with any dividends, based on the assumption that the dividends are reinvested. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. As it happens, Educational Development's TSR for the last 5 years was 338%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.

A Different Perspective

While the broader market lost about 0.7% in the twelve months, Educational Development shareholders did even worse, losing 26% (even including dividends). However, it could simply be that the share price has been impacted by broader market jitters. It might be worth keeping an eye on the fundamentals, in case there's a good opportunity. On the bright side, long term shareholders have made money, with a gain of 34% per year over half a decade. It could be that the recent sell-off is an opportunity, so it may be worth checking the fundamental data for signs of a long term growth trend. 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.

There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. You probably do not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.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.