It's easy to match the overall market return by buying an index fund. When you buy individual stocks, you can make higher profits, but you also face the risk of under-performance. Investors in Goodrich Petroleum Corporation (NYSEMKT:GDP) have tasted that bitter downside in the last year, as the share price dropped 28%. That's well bellow the market return of 12%. Goodrich Petroleum hasn't been listed for long, so although we're wary of recent listings that perform poorly, it may still prove itself with time. It's up 1.2% in the last seven days.
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 imperfect but simple way to consider how the market perception of a company has shifted is to compare the change in the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price movement.
During the last year Goodrich Petroleum grew its earnings per share, moving from a loss to a profit.
Earnings per share growth rates aren't particularly useful for comparing with the share price, when a company has moved from loss to profit. But we may find different metrics more enlightening.
Goodrich Petroleum's revenue is actually up 118% over the last year. Since the fundamental metrics don't readily explain the share price drop, there might be an opportunity if the market has overreacted.
You can see below how earnings and revenue have changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
It is of course excellent to see how Goodrich Petroleum 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
Given that the market gained 12% in the last year, Goodrich Petroleum shareholders might be miffed that they lost 28%. While the aim is to do better than that, it's worth recalling that even great long-term investments sometimes underperform for a year or more. The share price decline has continued throughout the most recent three months, down 8.3%, suggesting an absence of enthusiasm from investors. Given the relatively short history of this stock, we'd remain pretty wary until we see some strong business performance. Before deciding if you like the current share price, check how Goodrich Petroleum scores on these 3 valuation metrics.
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 US exchanges.
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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. Thank you for reading.