HireQuest's (NASDAQ:HQI) 41% return outpaced the company's earnings growth over the same one-year period

By
Simply Wall St
Published
February 18, 2022
NasdaqCM:HQI
Source: Shutterstock

These days it's easy to simply buy an index fund, and your returns should (roughly) match the market. But investors can boost returns by picking market-beating companies to own shares in. To wit, the HireQuest, Inc. (NASDAQ:HQI) share price is 39% higher than it was a year ago, much better than the market return of around 1.2% (not including dividends) in the same period. That's a solid performance by our standards! HireQuest hasn't been listed for long, so it's still not clear if it is a long term winner.

On the back of a solid 7-day performance, let's check what role the company's fundamentals have played in driving long term shareholder returns.

See our latest analysis for HireQuest

While the efficient markets hypothesis continues to be taught by some, it has been proven that markets are over-reactive dynamic systems, and investors are not always rational. One way to examine how market sentiment has changed over time is to look at the interaction between a company's share price and its earnings per share (EPS).

HireQuest was able to grow EPS by 39% in the last twelve months. The similarity between the EPS growth and the 39% share price gain really stands out. So this implies that investor expectations of the company have remained pretty steady. It makes intuitive sense that the share price and EPS would grow at similar rates.

The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).

earnings-per-share-growth
NasdaqCM:HQI Earnings Per Share Growth February 18th 2022

We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Even so, future earnings will be far more important to whether current shareholders make money. Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here..

A Different Perspective

HireQuest boasts a total shareholder return of 41% for the last year (that includes the dividends) . We regret to report that the share price is down 8.9% over ninety days. Shorter term share price moves often don't signify much about the business itself. It is all well and good that insiders have been buying shares, but we suggest you check here to see what price insiders were buying at.

If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).

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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