When you buy and hold a stock for the long term, you definitely want it to provide a positive return. Furthermore, you'd generally like to see the share price rise faster than the market But Encore Wire Corporation (NASDAQ:WIRE) has fallen short of that second goal, with a share price rise of 17% over five years, which is below the market return. Unfortunately the share price is down 12% in the last year.
There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. 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.
Over half a decade, Encore Wire managed to grow its earnings per share at 8.5% a year. This EPS growth is higher than the 3% average annual increase in the share price. So one could conclude that the broader market has become more cautious towards the stock.
The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
This free interactive report on Encore Wire's earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.
A Different Perspective
Encore Wire shareholders are down 12% for the year (even including dividends), but the market itself is up 20%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 3%, each year, over five years. It could be that the recent sell-off is an opportunity, so it may be worth checking the fundamental data for signs of a long term growth trend. Is Encore Wire cheap compared to other companies? These 3 valuation measures might help you decide.
For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.
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. 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.
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