Passive investing in index funds can generate returns that roughly match the overall market. But if you pick the right individual stocks, you could make more than that. To wit, the Draper Esprit plc (LON:GROW) share price is 100% higher than it was a year ago, much better than the market return of around 26% (not including dividends) in the same period. That's a solid performance by our standards! And shareholders have also done well over the long term, with an increase of 68% in the last three years.
In his essay The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville Warren Buffett described how share prices do not always rationally reflect the value of a business. 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 the last twelve months, Draper Esprit actually shrank its EPS by 75%.
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.
Draper Esprit's revenue actually dropped 63% over last year. So the fundamental metrics don't provide an obvious explanation for the share price gain.
The company's revenue and earnings (over time) are depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
Balance sheet strength is crucial. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on how its financial position has changed over time.
A Different Perspective
We're pleased to report that Draper Esprit rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 100% over the last year. That gain actually surpasses the 19% TSR it generated (per year) over three years. These improved returns 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. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 1 warning sign with Draper Esprit , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.
Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of companies we expect will grow earnings.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on GB 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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