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Shareholders in MultiPlan (NYSE:MPLN) are in the red if they invested a year ago

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While not a mind-blowing move, it is good to see that the MultiPlan Corporation (NYSE:MPLN) share price has gained 22% in the last three months. But that doesn't change the fact that the returns over the last year have been less than pleasing. In fact, the price has declined 37% in a year, falling short of the returns you could get by investing in an index fund.

So let's have a look and see if the longer term performance of the company has been in line with the underlying business' progress.

Check out our latest analysis for MultiPlan

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 flawed but reasonable way to assess how sentiment around a company has changed is to compare the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price.

MultiPlan managed to increase earnings per share from a loss to a profit, over the last 12 months.

The result looks like a strong improvement to us, so we're surprised the market has sold down the shares. If the improved profitability is a sign of things to come, then right now may prove the perfect time to pop this stock on your watchlist.

You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).

earnings-per-share-growth
earnings-per-share-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. Dive deeper into the earnings by checking this interactive graph of MultiPlan's earnings, revenue and cash flow.

A Different Perspective

MultiPlan shareholders are down 37% for the year, even worse than the market loss of 11%. There's no doubt that's a disappointment, but the stock may well have fared better in a stronger market. Putting aside the last twelve months, it's good to see the share price has rebounded by 22%, in the last ninety days. This could just be a bounce because the selling was too aggressive, but fingers crossed it's the start of a new trend. 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. To that end, you should learn about the 2 warning signs we've spotted with MultiPlan (including 1 which shouldn't be ignored) .

There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. You probably do not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.

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

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.