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Despite lower earnings than a year ago, Noble (NYSE:NE) investors are up 15% since then

The simplest way to invest in stocks is to buy exchange traded funds. But investors can boost returns by picking market-beating companies to own shares in. To wit, the Noble Corporation Plc (NYSE:NE) share price is 15% higher than it was a year ago, much better than the market decline of around 9.1% (not including dividends) in the same period. If it can keep that out-performance up over the long term, investors will do very well! Noble hasn't been listed for long, so it's still not clear if it is a long term winner.

While the stock has fallen 5.6% this week, it's worth focusing on the longer term and seeing if the stocks historical returns have been driven by the underlying fundamentals.

See our latest analysis for Noble

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 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).

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Over the last twelve months, Noble actually shrank its EPS by 54%.

Given the share price gain, we doubt the market is measuring progress with EPS. Since the change in EPS doesn't seem to correlate with the change in share price, it's worth taking a look at other metrics.

We think that the revenue growth of 70% could have some investors interested. 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 company's revenue and earnings (over time) are depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).

earnings-and-revenue-growth
earnings-and-revenue-growth

We know that Noble has improved its bottom line over the last three years, but what does the future have in store? Take a more thorough look at Noble's financial health with this free report on its balance sheet.

A Different Perspective

It's nice to see that Noble shareholders have gained 15% over the last year. The more recent returns haven't been as impressive as the longer term returns, coming in at just 1.4%. Having said that, we doubt shareholders would be concerned. It seems the market is simply waiting on more information, because if the business delivers so will the share price (eventually). 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. Even so, be aware that Noble is showing 2 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 1 of those shouldn't be ignored...

For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on American exchanges.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

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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