Buying shares in the best businesses can build meaningful wealth for you and your family. And highest quality companies can see their share prices grow by huge amounts. Just think about the savvy investors who held Corcept Therapeutics Incorporated (NASDAQ:CORT) shares for the last five years, while they gained 302%. This just goes to show the value creation that some businesses can achieve.
In his essay The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville Warren Buffett described how share prices do not always rationally reflect the value of a business. 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).
During the last half decade, Corcept Therapeutics 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. Given that the company made a profit three years ago, but not five years ago, it is worth looking at the share price returns over the last three years, too. Indeed, the Corcept Therapeutics share price has gained 61% in three years. In the same period, EPS is up 164% per year. This EPS growth is higher than the 17% average annual increase in the share price over the same three years. Therefore, it seems the market has moderated its expectations for growth, somewhat.
The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).
It is of course excellent to see how Corcept Therapeutics has grown profits over the years, but the future is more important for shareholders. You can see how its balance sheet has strengthened (or weakened) over time in this free interactive graphic.
A Different Perspective
Corcept Therapeutics shareholders have received returns of 21% over twelve months, which isn’t far from the general market return. It has to be noted that the recent return falls short of the 32% shareholders have gained each year, over half a decade. Although the share price growth has slowed, the longer term story points to a business well worth watching. It’s always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Corcept Therapeutics better, we need to consider many other factors. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We’ve identified 1 warning sign with Corcept Therapeutics , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.
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.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.com. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned.
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