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Those who invested in Orica (ASX:ORI) a year ago are up 14%

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These days it's easy to simply buy an index fund, and your returns should (roughly) match the market. But investors can boost returns by picking market-beating companies to own shares in. For example, the Orica Limited (ASX:ORI) share price is up 12% in the last 1 year, clearly besting the market return of around 9.2% (not including dividends). If it can keep that out-performance up over the long term, investors will do very well! Unfortunately the longer term returns are not so good, with the stock falling 12% in the last three years.

So let's assess the underlying fundamentals over the last 1 year and see if they've moved in lock-step with shareholder returns.

View our latest analysis for Orica

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.

During the last year Orica saw its earnings per share (EPS) drop below zero. While this may prove temporary, we'd consider it a negative, so we would not have expected to see the share price up. It may be that the company has done well on other metrics.

We are skeptical of the suggestion that the 1.5% dividend yield would entice buyers to the stock. Revenue was pretty stable on last year, so deeper research might be needed to explain the share price rise.

The company's revenue and earnings (over time) are depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).

earnings-and-revenue-growth
earnings-and-revenue-growth

We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Even so, future earnings will be far more important to whether current shareholders make money. So we recommend checking out this free report showing consensus forecasts

A Different Perspective

Orica provided a TSR of 14% over the year (including dividends). That's fairly close to the broader market return. That gain looks pretty satisfying, and it is even better than the five-year TSR of 0.5% per year. It is possible that management foresight will bring growth well into the future, even if the share price slows down. It is all well and good that insiders have been buying shares, but we suggest you check here to see what price insiders were buying at.

Orica is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with insider buying.

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on AU 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.