Investing in ARC Document Solutions (NYSE:ARC) three years ago would have delivered you a 479% gain
ARC Document Solutions, Inc. (NYSE:ARC) shareholders have seen the share price descend 19% over the month. But over three years the performance has been really wonderful. In fact, the share price has taken off in that time, up 410%. As long term investors the recent fall doesn't detract all that much from the longer term story. Only time will tell if there is still too much optimism currently reflected in the share price.
Now it's worth having a look at the company's fundamentals too, because that will help us determine if the long term shareholder return has matched the performance of the underlying business.
View our latest analysis for ARC Document Solutions
While the efficient markets hypothesis continues to be taught by some, it has been proven that markets are over-reactive dynamic systems, and investors are not always rational. By comparing earnings per share (EPS) and share price changes over time, we can get a feel for how investor attitudes to a company have morphed over time.
ARC Document Solutions was able to grow its EPS at 57% per year over three years, sending the share price higher. In comparison, the 72% per year gain in the share price outpaces the EPS growth. So it's fair to assume the market has a higher opinion of the business than it did three years ago. It's not unusual to see the market 're-rate' a stock, after a few years of growth.
You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
It is of course excellent to see how ARC Document Solutions has grown profits over the years, but the future is more important for shareholders. This free interactive report on ARC Document Solutions' balance sheet strength is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.
What About Dividends?
When looking at investment returns, it is important to consider the difference between total shareholder return (TSR) and share price return. The TSR incorporates the value of any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings, along with any dividends, based on the assumption that the dividends are reinvested. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. In the case of ARC Document Solutions, it has a TSR of 479% for the last 3 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!
A Different Perspective
While the broader market lost about 8.3% in the twelve months, ARC Document Solutions shareholders did even worse, losing 11% (even including dividends). However, it could simply be that the share price has been impacted by broader market jitters. It might be worth keeping an eye on the fundamentals, in case there's a good opportunity. On the bright side, long term shareholders have made money, with a gain of 6% per year over half a decade. If the fundamental data continues to indicate long term sustainable growth, the current sell-off could be an opportunity worth considering. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand ARC Document Solutions better, we need to consider many other factors. Consider risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 2 warning signs for ARC Document Solutions you should know about.
Of course ARC Document Solutions may not be the best stock to buy. So you may wish to see this free collection of growth stocks.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.
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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.
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