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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 on the bright side, you can make far more than 100% on a really good stock. Long term VeriSign, Inc. (NASDAQ:VRSN) shareholders would be well aware of this, since the stock is up 191% in five years. In more good news, the share price has risen 13% in thirty days. But this could be related to good market conditions -- stocks in its market are up 6.3% in the last month.
With that in mind, it's worth seeing if the company's underlying fundamentals have been the driver of long term performance, or if there are some discrepancies.
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 imperfect but simple way to consider how the market perception of a company has shifted is to compare the change in the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price movement.
Over half a decade, VeriSign managed to grow its earnings per share at 6.5% a year. This EPS growth is slower than the share price growth of 24% per year, over the same period. This suggests that market participants hold the company in higher regard, these days. That's not necessarily surprising considering the five-year track record of earnings growth.
You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
This free interactive report on VeriSign's earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.
A Different Perspective
VeriSign provided a TSR of 15% over the last twelve months. Unfortunately this falls short of the market return. It's probably a good sign that the company has an even better long term track record, having provided shareholders with an annual TSR of 24% over five years. Maybe the share price is just taking a breather while the business executes on its growth strategy. 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. Take risks, for example - VeriSign has 2 warning signs (and 1 which is potentially serious) we think you should know about.
If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.
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.
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