Did Business Growth Power Essent Group’s (NYSE:ESNT) Share Price Gain of 134%?

The most you can lose on any stock (assuming you don’t use leverage) is 100% of your money. But when you pick a company that is really flourishing, you can make more than 100%. To wit, the Essent Group Ltd. (NYSE:ESNT) share price has flown 134% in the last three years. How nice for those who held the stock! It’s also good to see the share price up 26% over the last quarter. But this move may well have been assisted by the reasonably buoyant market (up 13% in 90 days).

Check out our latest analysis for Essent Group

To quote Buffett, ‘Ships will sail around the world but the Flat Earth Society will flourish. There will continue to be wide discrepancies between price and value in the marketplace…’ One imperfect but simple way to consider how the market perception of a company has shifted is to compare the change in the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price movement.

During three years of share price growth, Essent Group achieved compound earnings per share growth of 40% per year. The average annual share price increase of 33% is actually lower than the EPS growth. So it seems investors have become more cautious about the company, over time. This cautious sentiment is reflected in its (fairly low) P/E ratio of 9.55.

The company’s earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).

NYSE:ESNT Past and Future Earnings, April 8th 2019
NYSE:ESNT Past and Future Earnings, April 8th 2019

It is of course excellent to see how Essent Group has grown profits over the years, but the future is more important for shareholders. If you are thinking of buying or selling Essent Group stock, you should check out this FREE detailed report on its balance sheet.

A Different Perspective

We’re pleased to report that Essent Group shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 29% over one year. That gain is better than the annual TSR over five years, which is 18%. Therefore it seems like sentiment around the company has been positive lately. Someone with an optimistic perspective could view the recent improvement in TSR as indicating that the business itself is getting better with time. Most investors take the time to check the data on insider transactions. You can click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling.

But note: Essent Group may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with past earnings growth (and further growth forecast).

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 editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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.