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Did You Miss XPO Logistics's (NYSE:XPO) Impressive 115% Share Price Gain?

Simply Wall St

The most you can lose on any stock (assuming you don't use leverage) is 100% of your money. But on the bright side, you can make far more than 100% on a really good stock. One great example is XPO Logistics, Inc. (NYSE:XPO) which saw its share price drive 115% higher over five years. On top of that, the share price is up 16% in about a quarter. But this could be related to the strong market, which is up 8.8% in the last three months.

See our latest analysis for XPO Logistics

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).

During the last half decade, XPO Logistics became profitable. Sometimes, the start of profitability is a major inflection point that can signal fast earnings growth to come, which in turn justifies very strong share price gains. Since the company was unprofitable five years ago, but not three years ago, it's worth taking a look at the returns in the last three years, too. Indeed, the XPO Logistics share price has gained 97% in three years. Meanwhile, EPS is up 90% per year. This EPS growth is higher than the 25% average annual increase in the share price over the same three years. Therefore, it seems the market has moderated its expectations for growth, somewhat.

You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).

NYSE:XPO Past and Future Earnings, February 18th 2020

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. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on XPO Logistics's earnings, revenue and cash flow.

A Different Perspective

It's nice to see that XPO Logistics shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 74% over the last year. That's better than the annualised return of 17% over half a decade, implying that the company is doing better recently. In the best case scenario, this may hint at some real business momentum, implying that now could be a great time to delve deeper. I find it very interesting to look at share price over the long term as a proxy for business performance. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. For example, we've discovered 1 warning sign for XPO Logistics that you should be aware of before investing here.

XPO Logistics 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.

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.

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. Thank you for reading.