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It is a pleasure to report that the Support.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPRT) is up 35% in the last quarter. But if you look at the last five years the returns have not been good. After all, the share price is down 34% in that time, significantly under-performing the market.
There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. 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.
Support.com became profitable within the last five years. Most would consider that to be a good thing, so it's counter-intuitive to see the share price declining. Other metrics may better explain the share price move.
It could be that the revenue decline of 4.6% per year is viewed as evidence that Support.com is shrinking. That could explain the weak share price.
The graphic below depicts how earnings and revenue have changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).
We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on Support.com's earnings, revenue and cash flow.
What about the Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?
Investors should note that there's a difference between Support.com's total shareholder return (TSR) and its share price change, which we've covered above. The TSR attempts to capture the value of dividends (as if they were reinvested) as well as any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings offered to shareholders. Support.com hasn't been paying dividends, but its TSR of 28% exceeds its share price return of -34%, implying it has either spun-off a business, or raised capital at a discount; thereby providing additional value to shareholders.
A Different Perspective
We're pleased to report that Support.com shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 157% over one year. Since the one-year TSR is better than the five-year TSR (the latter coming in at 5% per year), it would seem that the stock's performance has improved in recent times. Someone with an optimistic perspective could view the recent improvement in TSR as indicating that the business itself is getting better with time. I find it very interesting to look at share price over the long term as a proxy for business performance. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. Even so, be aware that Support.com is showing 2 warning signs in our investment analysis , you should know about...
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.
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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