It might seem bad, but the worst that can happen when you buy a stock (without leverage) is that its share price goes to zero. But when you pick a company that is really flourishing, you can make more than 100%. For example, the Surmodics, Inc. (NASDAQ:SRDX) share price has soared 132% in the last three years. That sort of return is as solid as granite. On the other hand, we note it's down 9.4% in about a month.
While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just 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.
During the three years of share price growth, Surmodics actually saw its earnings per share (EPS) drop 88% per year. In this instance, recent extraordinary items impacted the earnings. So we doubt that the market is looking to EPS for its main judge of the company's value. Since the change in EPS doesn't seem to correlate with the change in share price, it's worth taking a look at other metrics.
It may well be that Surmodics revenue growth rate of 7.4% over three years has convinced shareholders to believe in a brighter future. If the company is being managed for the long term good, today's shareholders might be right to hold on.
You can see how revenue and earnings have changed over time in the image below, (click on the chart to see cashflow).
You can see how its balance sheet has strengthened (or weakened) over time in this free interactive graphic.
A Different Perspective
It's nice to see that Surmodics shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 26% over the last year. Since the one-year TSR is better than the five-year TSR (the latter coming in at 16% per year), it would seem that the stock's performance has improved in recent times. Given the share price momentum remains strong, it might be worth taking a closer look at the stock, lest you miss an opportunity. If you would like to research Surmodics in more detail then you might want to take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in the company.
Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of companies we expect will grow earnings.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.
We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.