These days it's easy to simply buy an index fund, and your returns should (roughly) match the market. But you can significantly boost your returns by picking above-average stocks. For example, the Clearwater Paper Corporation (NYSE:CLW) share price is up 71% in the last year, clearly besting the market return of around 21% (not including dividends). So that should have shareholders smiling. Unfortunately the longer term returns are not so good, with the stock falling 22% in the last three years.
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 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.
Clearwater Paper went from making a loss to reporting a profit, in the last year.
We think the growth looks very prospective, so we're not surprised the market liked it too. Generally speaking the profitability inflection point is a great time to research a company closely, lest you miss an opportunity to profit.
You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
We're pleased to report that the CEO is remunerated more modestly than most CEOs at similarly capitalized companies. But while CEO remuneration is always worth checking, the really important question is whether the company can grow earnings going forward. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on Clearwater Paper's earnings, revenue and cash flow.
A Different Perspective
It's good to see that Clearwater Paper has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 71% in the last twelve months. Notably the five-year annualised TSR loss of 4% per year compares very unfavourably with the recent share price performance. We generally put more weight on the long term performance over the short term, but the recent improvement could hint at a (positive) inflection point within the business. 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. Like risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 3 warning signs for Clearwater Paper (of which 2 are significant!) you should know about.
If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.
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.
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email firstname.lastname@example.org.