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MultiPlan (NYSE:MPLN) shareholders are up 11% this past week, but still in the red over the last year

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It's nice to see the MultiPlan Corporation (NYSE:MPLN) share price up 11% in a week. But that doesn't change the fact that the returns over the last year have been less than pleasing. After all, the share price is down 38% in the last year, significantly under-performing the market.

On a more encouraging note the company has added US$294m to its market cap in just the last 7 days, so let's see if we can determine what's driven the one-year loss for shareholders.

See our latest analysis for MultiPlan

While the efficient markets hypothesis continues to be taught by some, it has been proven that markets are over-reactive dynamic systems, and investors are not always rational. 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.

Even though the MultiPlan share price is down over the year, its EPS actually improved. It's quite possible that growth expectations may have been unreasonable in the past. Extraordinary items have impacted profits over the last twelve months.

It's fair to say that the share price does not seem to be reflecting the EPS growth. So it's easy to justify a look at some other metrics.

MultiPlan's revenue is actually up 16% 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.

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 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. If you are thinking of buying or selling MultiPlan stock, you should check out this free report showing analyst profit forecasts.

A Different Perspective

Given that the market gained 28% in the last year, MultiPlan shareholders might be miffed that they lost 38%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. With the stock down 23% over the last three months, the market doesn't seem to believe that the company has solved all its problems. Basically, most investors should be wary of buying into a poor-performing stock, unless the business itself has clearly improved. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand MultiPlan better, we need to consider many other factors. For example, we've discovered 2 warning signs for MultiPlan (1 doesn't sit too well with us!) that you should be aware of before investing here.

MultiPlan 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. 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.

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