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Those who invested in Atlantic American (NASDAQ:AAME) three years ago are up 42%

Buying a low-cost index fund will get you the average market return. But in any diversified portfolio of stocks, you'll see some that fall short of the average. For example, the Atlantic American Corporation (NASDAQ:AAME) share price return of 40% over three years lags the market return in the same period. Disappointingly, the share price is down 7.3% in the last year.

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

See our latest analysis for Atlantic American

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.

Atlantic American became profitable within the last three years. That would generally be considered a positive, so we'd expect the share price to be up.

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's good to see that there was some significant insider buying in the last three months. That's a positive. That said, we think earnings and revenue growth trends are even more important factors to consider. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on Atlantic American's earnings, revenue and cash flow.

A Different Perspective

While the broader market lost about 1.1% in the twelve months, Atlantic American shareholders did even worse, losing 6.8% (even including dividends). Having said that, it's inevitable that some stocks will be oversold in a falling market. The key is to keep your eyes on the fundamental developments. Regrettably, last year's performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 1.7% per year over five years. Generally speaking long term share price weakness can be a bad sign, though contrarian investors might want to research the stock in hope of a turnaround. 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. To that end, you should be aware of the 3 warning signs we've spotted with Atlantic American .

If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).

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.