Clearfield (NASDAQ:CLFD) jumps 7.0% this week, though earnings growth is still tracking behind three-year shareholder returns

By
Simply Wall St
Published
March 16, 2022
NasdaqGM:CLFD
Source: Shutterstock

It hasn't been the best quarter for Clearfield, Inc. (NASDAQ:CLFD) shareholders, since the share price has fallen 16% in that time. But that doesn't undermine the rather lovely longer-term return, if you measure over the last three years. Indeed, the share price is up a very strong 297% in that time. After a run like that some may not be surprised to see prices moderate. The thing to consider is whether the underlying business is doing well enough to support the current price.

After a strong gain in the past week, it's worth seeing if longer term returns have been driven by improving fundamentals.

See our latest analysis for Clearfield

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...' By comparing earnings per share (EPS) and share price changes over time, we can get a feel for how investor attitudes to a company have morphed over time.

Clearfield was able to grow its EPS at 84% per year over three years, sending the share price higher. This EPS growth is higher than the 58% average annual increase in the share price. 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).

earnings-per-share-growth
NasdaqGM:CLFD Earnings Per Share Growth March 16th 2022

It's good to see that there was some significant insider buying in the last three months. That's a positive. On the other hand, we think the revenue and earnings trends are much more meaningful measures of the business. This free interactive report on Clearfield's earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.

A Different Perspective

It's good to see that Clearfield has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 78% in the last twelve months. Since the one-year TSR is better than the five-year TSR (the latter coming in at 29% per year), it would seem that the stock's performance has improved in recent times. In the best case scenario, this may hint at some real business momentum, implying that now could be a great time to delve deeper. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Clearfield better, we need to consider many other factors. Take risks, for example - Clearfield has 2 warning signs (and 1 which doesn't sit too well with us) we think you should know about.

There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. You probably do not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.

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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