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Shareholders in SkyWest (NASDAQ:SKYW) are in the red if they invested three years ago

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Many investors define successful investing as beating the market average over the long term. But if you try your hand at stock picking, your risk returning less than the market. Unfortunately, that's been the case for longer term SkyWest, Inc. (NASDAQ:SKYW) shareholders, since the share price is down 14% in the last three years, falling well short of the market return of around 89%. It's down 20% in about a quarter.

Now let's have a look at the company's fundamentals, and see if the long term shareholder return has matched the performance of the underlying business.

View our latest analysis for SkyWest

There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. 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.

SkyWest saw its EPS decline at a compound rate of 50% per year, over the last three years. This fall in the EPS is worse than the 5% compound annual share price fall. So the market may not be too worried about the EPS figure, at the moment -- or it may have previously priced some of the drop in.

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

It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on SkyWest's earnings, revenue and cash flow.

A Different Perspective

SkyWest shareholders gained a total return of 1.1% during the year. Unfortunately this falls short of the market return. If we look back over five years, the returns are even better, coming in at 3% per year for five years. It's quite possible the business continues to execute with prowess, even as the share price gains are slowing. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand SkyWest better, we need to consider many other factors. Case in point: We've spotted 5 warning signs for SkyWest you should be aware of.

We will like SkyWest better if we see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, insider 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.