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Quidel Corporation (NASDAQ:QDEL) shareholders might be concerned after seeing the share price drop 24% in the last month. But that does not change the realty that the stock's performance has been terrific, over five years. In fact, during that period, the share price climbed 452%. Impressive! Arguably, the recent fall is to be expected after such a strong rise. Only time will tell if there is still too much optimism currently reflected in the share price. Unfortunately not all shareholders will have held it for the long term, so spare a thought for those caught in the 55% decline over the last twelve months.
While this past week has detracted from the company's five-year return, let's look at the recent trends of the underlying business and see if the gains have been in alignment.
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 imperfect but simple way to consider how the market perception of a company has shifted is to compare the change in the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price movement.
During the last half decade, Quidel 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. Given that the company made a profit three years ago, but not five years ago, it is worth looking at the share price returns over the last three years, too. We can see that the Quidel share price is up 91% in the last three years. During the same period, EPS grew by 177% each year. This EPS growth is higher than the 24% average annual increase in the share price over the same three years. So you might conclude the market is a little more cautious about the stock, these days. This unenthusiastic sentiment is reflected in the stock's reasonably modest P/E ratio of 4.96.
The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).
We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Even so, future earnings will be far more important to whether current shareholders make money. Dive deeper into the earnings by checking this interactive graph of Quidel's earnings, revenue and cash flow.
A Different Perspective
While the broader market gained around 5.6% in the last year, Quidel shareholders lost 55%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 41%, each year, over five years. If the fundamental data continues to indicate long term sustainable growth, the current sell-off could be an opportunity worth considering. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Quidel better, we need to consider many other factors. Like risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 3 warning signs for Quidel (of which 2 are a bit concerning!) you should know about.
Quidel 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 US exchanges.
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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.