The most you can lose on any stock (assuming you don't use leverage) is 100% of your money. On the other hand, if you find a high quality business to buy (at the right price) you can more than double your money! For example, the WESCO International, Inc. (NYSE:WCC) share price had more than doubled in just one year - up 146%. On top of that, the share price is up 16% in about a quarter. And shareholders have also done well over the long term, with an increase of 121% in the last three years.
Let's take a look at the underlying fundamentals over the longer term, and see if they've been consistent with shareholders returns.
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.
WESCO International was able to grow EPS by 60% in the last twelve months. The share price gain of 146% certainly outpaced the EPS growth. This indicates that the market is now more optimistic about the stock.
The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
We know that WESCO International has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? Check if analysts think WESCO International will grow revenue in the future.
A Different Perspective
It's good to see that WESCO International has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 146% in the last twelve months. That gain is better than the annual TSR over five years, which is 15%. Therefore it seems like sentiment around the company has been positive lately. Given the share price momentum remains strong, it might be worth taking a closer look at the stock, lest you miss an opportunity. I find it very interesting to look at share price over the long term as a proxy for business performance. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 3 warning signs with WESCO International (at least 1 which is a bit concerning) , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.
We will like WESCO International better if we see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, 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.
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.
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