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When you buy shares in a company, it's worth keeping in mind the possibility that it could fail, and you could lose your money. But on the bright side, if you buy shares in a high quality company at the right price, you can gain well over 100%. For example, the Ducommun Incorporated (NYSE:DCO) share price has soared 287% in the last half decade. Most would be very happy with that. Also pleasing for shareholders was the 64% gain in the last three months.
In his essay The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville Warren Buffett described how share prices do not always rationally reflect the value of a business. 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 the last half decade, Ducommun became profitable. That kind of transition can be an inflection point that justifies a strong share price gain, just as we have seen here. 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. We can see that the Ducommun share price is up 96% in the last three years. In the same period, EPS is up 27% per year. That makes the EPS growth rather close to the annualized share price gain of 25% over the same period. So you could reasonably conclude that investor sentiment towards the stock has remained pretty steady, over time. Rather, the share price has approximately tracked EPS growth.
The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. Dive deeper into the earnings by checking this interactive graph of Ducommun's earnings, revenue and cash flow.
A Different Perspective
It's nice to see that Ducommun shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 31% over the last year. Since the one-year TSR is better than the five-year TSR (the latter coming in at 31% per year), it would seem that the stock's performance has improved in recent times. Given the share price momentum remains strong, it might be worth taking a closer look at the stock, lest you miss an opportunity. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Ducommun better, we need to consider many other factors. Like risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 3 warning signs for Ducommun (of which 1 is potentially serious!) you should know about.
If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US 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.
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