It is doubtless a positive to see that the Assured Guaranty Ltd. (NYSE:AGO) share price has gained some 59% in the last three months. But in truth the last year hasn't been good for the share price. The cold reality is that the stock has dropped 38% in one year, under-performing the market.
There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. 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.
Even though the Assured Guaranty share price is down over the year, its EPS actually improved. Of course, the situation might betray previous over-optimism about growth.
The divergence between the EPS and the share price is quite notable, during the year. But we might find some different metrics explain the share price movements better.
Assured Guaranty's revenue is actually up 4.7% over the last year. Since we can't easily explain the share price movement based on these metrics, it might be worth considering how market sentiment has changed towards the stock.
The image below shows how earnings and revenue have tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Even so, future earnings will be far more important to whether current shareholders make money. You can see what analysts are predicting for Assured Guaranty in this interactive graph of future profit estimates.
A Different Perspective
Assured Guaranty shareholders are down 36% for the year (even including dividends), but the market itself is up 24%. Even the share prices of good stocks drop sometimes, but we want to see improvements in the fundamental metrics of a business, before getting too interested. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 4%, each year, over five years. It could be that the recent sell-off is an opportunity, so it may be worth checking the fundamental data for signs of a long term growth trend. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Assured Guaranty better, we need to consider many other factors. For instance, we've identified 2 warning signs for Assured Guaranty (1 is potentially serious) that you should be aware of.
Assured Guaranty is not the only stock that insiders are buying. For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.
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. 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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