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Introducing Universal Health Services (NYSE:UHS), A Stock That Climbed 39% In The Last Year

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·3 min read
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On average, over time, stock markets tend to rise higher. This makes investing attractive. But if you choose that path, you're going to buy some stocks that fall short of the market. Unfortunately for shareholders, while the Universal Health Services, Inc. (NYSE:UHS) share price is up 39% in the last year, that falls short of the market return. However, the longer term returns haven't been so impressive, with the stock up just 28% in the last three years.

View our latest analysis for Universal Health Services

To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it's a weighing machine. 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.

During the last year Universal Health Services grew its earnings per share (EPS) by 21%. The share price gain of 39% certainly outpaced the EPS growth. So it's fair to assume the market has a higher opinion of the business than it a year ago.

You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).

earnings-per-share-growth
earnings-per-share-growth

We're pleased to report that the CEO is remunerated more modestly than most CEOs at similarly capitalized companies. But while CEO remuneration is always worth checking, the really important question is whether the company can grow earnings going forward. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on Universal Health Services' earnings, revenue and cash flow.

A Different Perspective

Universal Health Services shareholders are up 39% for the year. But that return falls short of the market. The silver lining is that the gain was actually better than the average annual return of 2% per year over five year. This could indicate that the company is winning over new investors, as it pursues its strategy. 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. For instance, we've identified 1 warning sign for Universal Health Services that 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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.