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%. One great example is O'Reilly Automotive, Inc. (NASDAQ:ORLY) which saw its share price drive 179% higher over five years. It's also good to see the share price up 20% over the last quarter. But this could be related to the strong market, which is up 11% in the last three months.
While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. 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.
Over half a decade, O'Reilly Automotive managed to grow its earnings per share at 22% a year. This EPS growth is reasonably close to the 23% average annual increase in the share price. That suggests that the market sentiment around the company hasn't changed much over that time. Indeed, it would appear the share price is reacting to the EPS.
You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
It's probably worth noting that the CEO is paid less than the median at similar sized companies. It's always worth keeping an eye on CEO pay, but a more important question is whether the company will grow earnings throughout the years. Dive deeper into the earnings by checking this interactive graph of O'Reilly Automotive's earnings, revenue and cash flow.
A Different Perspective
It's good to see that O'Reilly Automotive has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 81% in the last twelve months. That gain is better than the annual TSR over five years, which is 23%. Therefore it seems like sentiment around the company has been positive lately. Given the share price momentum remains strong, it might be worth taking a closer look at the stock, lest you miss an opportunity. If you would like to research O'Reilly Automotive in more detail then you might want to take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in the company.
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.
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