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Those who invested in Copart (NASDAQ:CPRT) five years ago are up 324%

·2 min read

Buying shares in the best businesses can build meaningful wealth for you and your family. While the best companies are hard to find, but they can generate massive returns over long periods. To wit, the Copart, Inc. (NASDAQ:CPRT) share price has soared 324% over five years. If that doesn't get you thinking about long term investing, we don't know what will. And in the last month, the share price has gained 8.5%. But this could be related to good market conditions -- stocks in its market are up 4.8% in the last month.

So let's investigate 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 Copart

While the efficient markets hypothesis continues to be taught by some, it has been proven that markets are over-reactive dynamic systems, and investors are not always rational. 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 five years of share price growth, Copart achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 21% per year. This EPS growth is slower than the share price growth of 33% per year, over the same period. This suggests that market participants hold the company in higher regard, these days. And that's hardly shocking given the track record of growth.

The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).

earnings-per-share-growth
earnings-per-share-growth

It's probably worth noting that the CEO is paid less than the median at similar sized companies. But while CEO remuneration is always worth checking, the really important question is whether the company can grow earnings going forward. This free interactive report on Copart's earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.

A Different Perspective

It's good to see that Copart has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 6.4% in the last twelve months. However, the TSR over five years, coming in at 33% per year, is even more impressive. The pessimistic view would be that be that the stock has its best days behind it, but on the other hand the price might simply be moderating while the business itself continues to execute. Before spending more time on Copart it might be wise to click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling shares.

If you would prefer to check out another company -- one with potentially superior financials -- then do not miss this free list of companies that have proven they can 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.

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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.