Did Business Growth Power Sterling Construction Company’s (NASDAQ:STRL) Share Price Gain of 160%?

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The most you can lose on any stock (assuming you don’t use leverage) is 100% of your money. But in contrast you can make much more than 100% if the company does well. To wit, the Sterling Construction Company, Inc. (NASDAQ:STRL) share price has flown 160% in the last three years. How nice for those who held the stock! And in the last month, the share price has gained 3.7%.

View our latest analysis for Sterling Construction Company

In his essay The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville Warren Buffett described how share prices do not always rationally reflect the value of a business. 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, Sterling Construction Company moved from a loss to profitability. Given the importance of this milestone, it’s not overly surprising that the share price has increased strongly.

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

NasdaqGS:STRL Past and Future Earnings, June 17th 2019
NasdaqGS:STRL Past and Future Earnings, June 17th 2019

It’s probably worth noting we’ve seen significant insider buying in the last quarter, which we consider a positive. On the other hand, we think the revenue and earnings trends are much more meaningful measures of the business. Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here..

A Different Perspective

Sterling Construction Company shareholders are up 1.5% for the year. But that was short of the market average. It’s probably a good sign that the company has an even better long term track record, having provided shareholders with an annual TSR of 6.9% over five years. It’s quite possible the business continues to execute with prowess, even as the share price gains are slowing. If you want to research this stock further, the data on insider buying is an obvious place to start. You can click here to see who has been buying shares – and the price they paid.

Sterling Construction Company 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 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.