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The worst result, after buying shares in a company (assuming no leverage), would be if you lose all the money you put in. But if you buy shares in a really great company, you can more than double your money. For example, the PTC Inc. (NASDAQ:PTC) share price has soared 191% in the last three years. That sort of return is as solid as granite. On top of that, the share price is up 15% in about a quarter. But this could be related to the strong market, which is up 15% in the last three months.
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 flawed but reasonable way to assess how sentiment around a company has changed is to compare the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price.
PTC became profitable within the last three years. That kind of transition can be an inflection point that justifies a strong share price gain, just as we have seen here.
You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
It is of course excellent to see how PTC has grown profits over the years, but the future is more important for shareholders. You can see how its balance sheet has strengthened (or weakened) over time in this free interactive graphic.
A Different Perspective
It's good to see that PTC has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 24% 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. In the best case scenario, this may hint at some real business momentum, implying that now could be a great time to delve deeper. 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.
But note: PTC may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with past earnings growth (and further growth forecast).
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.