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Unless you borrow money to invest, the potential losses are limited. But if you pick the right stock, you can make a lot more than 100%. For example, the Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE:WHR) share price has soared 147% in the last year. Most would be very happy with that, especially in just one year! On top of that, the share price is up 18% in about a quarter. It is also impressive that the stock is up 44% over three years, adding to the sense that it is a real winner.
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 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 year, Whirlpool actually saw its earnings per share drop 7.0%.
Given the share price gain, we doubt the market is measuring progress with EPS. Since the change in EPS doesn't seem to correlate with the change in share price, it's worth taking a look at other metrics.
Unfortunately Whirlpool's fell 4.7% over twelve months. So the fundamental metrics don't provide an obvious explanation for the share price gain.
You can see below how earnings and revenue have changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
We know that Whirlpool has improved its bottom line over the last three years, but what does the future have in store? If you are thinking of buying or selling Whirlpool stock, you should check out this FREE detailed report on its balance sheet.
What About Dividends?
It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. The TSR is a return calculation that accounts for the value of cash dividends (assuming that any dividend received was reinvested) and the calculated value of any discounted capital raisings and spin-offs. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. In the case of Whirlpool, it has a TSR of 155% for the last year. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!
A Different Perspective
It's nice to see that Whirlpool shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 155% over the last year. Of course, that includes the dividend. That gain is better than the annual TSR over five years, which is 7%. Therefore it seems like sentiment around the company has been positive lately. 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 - Whirlpool has 2 warning signs we think you should be aware of.
For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.
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.
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