If you want to compound wealth in the stock market, you can do so by buying an index fund. But investors can boost returns by picking market-beating companies to own shares in. To wit, the The St. Joe Company (NYSE:JOE) share price is 20% higher than it was a year ago, much better than the market return of around 13% (not including dividends) in the same period. So that should have shareholders smiling. Zooming out, the stock is actually down 5.8% in the last three years.
In his essay The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville Warren Buffett described how share prices do not always rationally reflect the value of a business. 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).
During the last year, St. Joe actually saw its earnings per share drop 73%.
So we don't think that investors are paying too much attention to EPS. Therefore, it seems likely that investors are putting more weight on metrics other than EPS, at the moment.
St. Joe's revenue actually dropped 13% over last year. So using a snapshot of key business metrics doesn't give us a good picture of why the market is bidding up the stock.
You can see how earnings and revenue have changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Even so, future earnings will be far more important to whether current shareholders make money. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on St. Joe's earnings, revenue and cash flow.
A Different Perspective
It's nice to see that St. Joe shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 20% over the last year. Notably the five-year annualised TSR loss of 0.7% per year compares very unfavourably with the recent share price performance. This makes us a little wary, but the business might have turned around its fortunes. Investors who like to make money usually check up on insider purchases, such as the price paid, and total amount bought. You can find out about the insider purchases of St. Joe by clicking this link.
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.
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.