The worst result, after buying shares in a company (assuming no leverage), would be if you lose all the money you put in. But on the bright side, if you buy shares in a high quality company at the right price, you can gain well over 100%. Long term Surmodics, Inc. (NASDAQ:SRDX) shareholders would be well aware of this, since the stock is up 102% in five years. On the other hand, the stock price has retraced 9.8% in the last week. However, this might be related to the overall market decline of 0.7% in a week.
Although Surmodics has shed US$77m from its market cap this week, let's take a look at its longer term fundamental trends and see if they've driven 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 flawed but reasonable way to assess how sentiment around a company has changed is to compare the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price.
During the last half decade, Surmodics became profitable. Sometimes, the start of profitability is a major inflection point that can signal fast earnings growth to come, which in turn justifies very strong share price gains.
The company's earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
It is of course excellent to see how Surmodics has grown profits over the years, but the future is more important for shareholders. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on how its financial position has changed over time.
A Different Perspective
Surmodics' TSR for the year was broadly in line with the market average, at 33%. Most would be happy with a gain, and it helps that the year's return is actually better than the average return over five years, which was 15%. It is possible that management foresight will bring growth well into the future, even if the share price slows down. 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. Case in point: We've spotted 1 warning sign for Surmodics you should be aware of.
If you would prefer to check out another company -- one with potentially superior financials -- then do not miss this free list of companies that have proven they can grow earnings.
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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