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Does Estia Health's (ASX:EHE) Share Price Gain of 74% Match Its Business Performance?

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Passive investing in index funds can generate returns that roughly match the overall market. But you can significantly boost your returns by picking above-average stocks. To wit, the Estia Health Limited (ASX:EHE) share price is 74% higher than it was a year ago, much better than the market return of around 38% (not including dividends) in the same period. That's a solid performance by our standards! On the other hand, longer term shareholders have had a tougher run, with the stock falling 30% in three years.

Check out our latest analysis for Estia Health

While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. By comparing earnings per share (EPS) and share price changes over time, we can get a feel for how investor attitudes to a company have morphed over time.

During the last year Estia Health saw its earnings per share (EPS) drop below zero. While this may prove temporary, we'd consider it a negative, so we would not have expected to see the share price up. We might get a clue to explain the share price move by looking to other metrics.

However the year on year revenue growth of 5.0% would help. Many businesses do go through a phase where they have to forgo some profits to drive business development, and sometimes its for the best.

The company's revenue and earnings (over time) are depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).

earnings-and-revenue-growth
earnings-and-revenue-growth

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 report showing analyst forecasts should help you form a view on Estia Health

A Different Perspective

We're pleased to report that Estia Health shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 74% over one year. Notably the five-year annualised TSR loss of 8% per year compares very unfavourably with the recent share price performance. The long term loss makes us cautious, but the short term TSR gain certainly hints at a brighter future. 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. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 1 warning sign with Estia Health , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

Estia Health is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with insider buying.

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

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. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.