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Investing in Air Transport Services Group (NASDAQ:ATSG) five years ago would have delivered you a 76% gain

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The main point of investing for the long term is to make money. Better yet, you'd like to see the share price move up more than the market average. Unfortunately for shareholders, while the Air Transport Services Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATSG) share price is up 76% in the last five years, that's less than the market return. Zooming in, the stock is actually down 2.3% in the last year.

So let's investigate and see if the longer term performance of the company has been in line with the underlying business' progress.

View our latest analysis for Air Transport Services Group

There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. One way to examine how market sentiment has changed over time is to look at the interaction between a company's share price and its earnings per share (EPS).

Over half a decade, Air Transport Services Group managed to grow its earnings per share at 21% a year. The EPS growth is more impressive than the yearly share price gain of 12% over the same period. So it seems the market isn't so enthusiastic about the stock these days.

You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).

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

We know that Air Transport Services Group has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? You could check out this free report showing analyst revenue forecasts.

A Different Perspective

While the broader market gained around 28% in the last year, Air Transport Services Group shareholders lost 2.3%. Even the share prices of good stocks drop sometimes, but we want to see improvements in the fundamental metrics of a business, before getting too interested. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 12%, each year, over five years. It could be that the recent sell-off is an opportunity, so it may be worth checking the fundamental data for signs of a long term growth trend. While it is well worth considering the different impacts that market conditions can have on the share price, there are other factors that are even more important. To that end, you should learn about the 4 warning signs we've spotted with Air Transport Services Group (including 1 which is significant) .

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 US exchanges.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.