The simplest way to benefit from a rising market is to buy an index fund. When you buy individual stocks, you can make higher profits, but you also face the risk of under-performance. For example, the Select Energy Services, Inc. (NYSE:WTTR) share price is down 35% in the last year. That falls noticeably short of the market return of around 1.7%. Select Energy Services may have better days ahead, of course; we've only looked at a one year period. The falls have accelerated recently, with the share price down 22% in the last three months.
While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. 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.
During the unfortunate twelve months during which the Select Energy Services share price fell, it actually saw its earnings per share (EPS) improve by 7.4%. Of course, the situation might betray previous over-optimism about growth.
It's fair to say that the share price does not seem to be reflecting the EPS growth. But we might find some different metrics explain the share price movements better.
Select Energy Services's revenue is actually up 18% over the last year. Since the fundamental metrics don't readily explain the share price drop, there might be an opportunity if the market has overreacted.
You can see below how earnings and revenue have changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
Balance sheet strength is crucial. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on how its financial position has changed over time.
A Different Perspective
While Select Energy Services shareholders are down 35% for the year, the market itself is up 1.7%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. The share price decline has continued throughout the most recent three months, down 22%, suggesting an absence of enthusiasm from investors. Basically, most investors should be wary of buying into a poor-performing stock, unless the business itself has clearly improved. Most investors take the time to check the data on insider transactions. You can click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling.
If you would prefer to check out another company -- one with potentially superior financials -- then do not miss this free list of companies that have proven they can 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.
We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.com. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.