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Investing in Aspen Aerogels (NYSE:ASPN) five years ago would have delivered you a 159% gain

When you buy a stock there is always a possibility that it could drop 100%. But on the bright side, if you buy shares in a high quality company at the right price, you can gain well over 100%. For example, the Aspen Aerogels, Inc. (NYSE:ASPN) share price has soared 159% in the last half decade. Most would be very happy with that. And in the last month, the share price has gained 8.8%. But the price may well have benefitted from a buoyant market, since stocks have gained 8.1% in the last thirty days.

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

Check out our latest analysis for Aspen Aerogels

Aspen Aerogels wasn't profitable in the last twelve months, it is unlikely we'll see a strong correlation between its share price and its earnings per share (EPS). Arguably revenue is our next best option. Shareholders of unprofitable companies usually expect strong revenue growth. That's because it's hard to be confident a company will be sustainable if revenue growth is negligible, and it never makes a profit.

In the last 5 years Aspen Aerogels saw its revenue grow at 4.4% per year. That's not a very high growth rate considering the bottom line. In comparison, the share price rise of 21% per year over the last half a decade is pretty impressive. Shareholders should be pretty happy with that, although interested investors might want to examine the financial data more closely to see if the gains are really justified. It may be that the market is pretty optimistic about Aspen Aerogels.

You can see below how earnings and revenue have changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).

earnings-and-revenue-growth
earnings-and-revenue-growth

We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. You can see what analysts are predicting for Aspen Aerogels in this interactive graph of future profit estimates.

A Different Perspective

While the broader market lost about 14% in the twelve months, Aspen Aerogels shareholders did even worse, losing 75%. 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 21% 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. 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. Case in point: We've spotted 3 warning signs for Aspen Aerogels you should be aware of, and 2 of them are significant.

If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.

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

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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