Stock pickers are generally looking for stocks that will outperform the broader market. And in our experience, buying the right stocks can give your wealth a significant boost. To wit, the Itron share price has climbed 86% in five years, easily topping the market return of 43% (ignoring dividends). On the other hand, the more recent gains haven't been so impressive, with shareholders gaining just 41%.
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.
During the last half decade, Itron became profitable. That would generally be considered a positive, so we'd expect the share price to be up. Given that the company made a profit three years ago, but not five years ago, it is worth looking at the share price returns over the last three years, too. Indeed, the Itron share price has gained 31% in three years. During the same period, EPS grew by 4.6% each year. This EPS growth is lower than the 9.4% average annual increase in the share price over three years. So it's fair to assume the market has a higher opinion of the business than it did three years ago.
You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. Dive deeper into the earnings by checking this interactive graph of Itron's earnings, revenue and cash flow.
A Different Perspective
It's nice to see that Itron shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 41% over the last year. That gain is better than the annual TSR over five years, which is 13%. 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. It is all well and good that insiders have been buying shares, but we suggest you check here to see what price insiders were buying at.
Itron is not the only stock that insiders are buying. 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.