It is a pleasure to report that the Welbilt, Inc. (NYSE:WBT) is up 100% in the last quarter. But that cannot eclipse the less-than-impressive returns over the last three years. Truth be told the share price declined 39% in three years and that return, Dear Reader, falls short of what you could have got from passive investing with an index fund.
While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. By comparing earnings per share (EPS) and share price changes over time, we can get a feel for how investor attitudes to a company have morphed over time.
Over the three years that the share price declined, Welbilt's earnings per share (EPS) dropped significantly, falling to a loss. This was, in part, due to extraordinary items impacting earnings. Due to the loss, it's not easy to use EPS as a reliable guide to the business. But it's safe to say we'd generally expect the share price to be lower as a result!
You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here..
A Different Perspective
Welbilt shareholders are down 7.3% for the year, but the broader market is up 25%. Of course the long term matters more than the short term, and even great stocks will sometimes have a poor year. However, the loss over the last year isn't as bad as the 12% per annum loss investors have suffered over the last three years. We'd need clear signs of growth in the underlying business before we could muster much enthusiasm for this one. While it is well worth considering the different impacts that market conditions can have on the share price, there are other factors that are even more important. For example, we've discovered 2 warning signs for Welbilt (1 doesn't sit too well with us!) that you should be aware of before investing here.
Welbilt is not the only stock that insiders are buying. 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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