While some are satisfied with an index fund, active investors aim to find truly magnificent investments on the stock market. While not every stock performs well, when investors win, they can win big. For example, the SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR) share price rocketed moonwards 311% in just one year. And in the last month, the share price has gained 21%. It is also impressive that the stock is up 281% over three years, adding to the sense that it is a real winner.
To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it's a weighing machine. 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).
SunPower went from making a loss to reporting a profit, in the last year.
When a company has just transitioned to profitability, earnings per share growth is not always the best way to look at the share price action.
However the year on year revenue growth of 4.1% would help. Many businesses do go through a phase where they have to forgo some profits to drive business development, and sometimes its for the best.
The image below shows how earnings and revenue have tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
It is of course excellent to see how SunPower has grown profits over the years, but the future is more important for shareholders. If you are thinking of buying or selling SunPower stock, you should check out this FREE detailed report on its balance sheet.
What about the Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?
We'd be remiss not to mention the difference between SunPower's total shareholder return (TSR) and its share price return. The TSR is a return calculation that accounts for the value of cash dividends (assuming that any dividend received was reinvested) and the calculated value of any discounted capital raisings and spin-offs. We note that SunPower's TSR, at 527% is higher than its share price return of 311%. When you consider it hasn't been paying a dividend, this data suggests shareholders have benefitted from a spin-off, or had the opportunity to acquire attractively priced shares in a discounted capital raising.
A Different Perspective
It's nice to see that SunPower shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 527% over the last year. That gain is better than the annual TSR over five years, which is 25%. Therefore it seems like sentiment around the company has been positive lately. Someone with an optimistic perspective could view the recent improvement in TSR as indicating that the business itself is getting better with time. 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 4 warning signs for SunPower (2 can't be ignored!) that you should be aware of before investing here.
Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of companies we expect will 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.
When trading SunPower or any other investment, use the platform considered by many to be the Professional's Gateway to the Worlds Market, Interactive Brokers. You get the lowest-cost* trading on stocks, options, futures, forex, bonds and funds worldwide from a single integrated account. Promoted
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.
*Interactive Brokers Rated Lowest Cost Broker by StockBrokers.com Annual Online Review 2020
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.