We think all investors should try to buy and hold high quality multi-year winners. While the best companies are hard to find, but they can generate massive returns over long periods. Just think about the savvy investors who held LHC Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:LHCG) shares for the last five years, while they gained 394%. And this is just one example of the epic gains achieved by some long term investors.
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).
During five years of share price growth, LHC Group achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 18% per year. This EPS growth is slower than the share price growth of 38% per year, over the same period. So it's fair to assume the market has a higher opinion of the business than it did five years ago. And that's hardly shocking given the track record of growth.
The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
We know that LHC Group has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? You could check out this free report showing analyst revenue forecasts.
A Different Perspective
It's good to see that LHC Group has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 22% in the last twelve months. Having said that, the five-year TSR of 38% a year, is even better. The pessimistic view would be that be that the stock has its best days behind it, but on the other hand the price might simply be moderating while the business itself continues to execute. Most investors take the time to check the data on insider transactions. You can click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling.
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.
We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.
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. Thank you for reading.