The worst result, after buying shares in a company (assuming no leverage), would be if you lose all the money you put in. But when you pick a company that is really flourishing, you can make more than 100%. For instance the Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARNA) share price is 283% higher than it was three years ago. That sort of return is as solid as granite. It's also up 29% in about a month. But this could be related to good market conditions -- stocks in its market are up 21% in the last month.
While the efficient markets hypothesis continues to be taught by some, it has been proven that markets are over-reactive dynamic systems, and investors are not always rational. 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).
Arena Pharmaceuticals became profitable within the last three years. That kind of transition can be an inflection point that justifies a strong share price gain, just as we have seen here.
The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
It is of course excellent to see how Arena Pharmaceuticals has grown profits over the years, but the future is more important for shareholders. Take a more thorough look at Arena Pharmaceuticals's financial health with this free report on its balance sheet.
A Different Perspective
We're pleased to report that Arena Pharmaceuticals shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 13% over one year. That's better than the annualised return of 2.1% 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. Take risks, for example - Arena Pharmaceuticals has 3 warning signs (and 1 which is potentially serious) we think 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.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.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.
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