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NuVasive's (NASDAQ:NUVA) investors will be pleased with their 18% return over the last year

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We believe investing is smart because history shows that stock markets go higher in the long term. But if when you choose to buy stocks, some of them will be below average performers. Over the last year the NuVasive, Inc. (NASDAQ:NUVA) share price is up 18%, but that's less than the broader market return. On the other hand, longer term shareholders have had a tougher run, with the stock falling 13% in three years.

Let's take a look at the underlying fundamentals over the longer term, and see if they've been consistent with shareholders returns.

Check out our latest analysis for NuVasive

To quote Buffett, 'Ships will sail around the world but the Flat Earth Society will flourish. There will continue to be wide discrepancies between price and value in the marketplace...' 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.

NuVasive went from making a loss to reporting a profit, in the last year.

The company was close to break-even last year, so earnings per share of US$0.036 isn't particularly stand out. But judging by the share price, the market is happy with the maiden profit. Inflection points like this can be a great time to take a closer look at a company.

You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).

earnings-per-share-growth
earnings-per-share-growth

We know that NuVasive has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? You could check out this free report showing analyst revenue forecasts.

A Different Perspective

NuVasive provided a TSR of 18% over the last twelve months. Unfortunately this falls short of the market return. But at least that's still a gain! Over five years the TSR has been a reduction of 1.6% per year, over five years. So this might be a sign the business has turned its fortunes around. 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. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 2 warning signs with NuVasive (at least 1 which is potentially serious) , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

But note: NuVasive may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with past earnings growth (and further growth forecast).

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.