The worst result, after buying shares in a company (assuming no leverage), would be if you lose all the money you put in. But when you pick a company that is really flourishing, you can make more than 100%. For example, the Gartner, Inc. (NYSE:IT) share price has soared 234% in the last three years. Most would be happy with that. In contrast, the stock has fallen 9.2% in the last 30 days. This could be related to the soft market, with stocks down around 6.6% in the last month.
While the stock has fallen 6.5% this week, it's worth focusing on the longer term and seeing if the stocks historical returns have been driven by the underlying fundamentals.
To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it's a weighing machine. 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.
Gartner was able to grow its EPS at 58% per year over three years, sending the share price higher. We don't think it is entirely coincidental that the EPS growth is reasonably close to the 50% average annual increase in the share price. This suggests that sentiment and expectations have not changed drastically. Rather, the share price has approximately tracked EPS growth.
The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).
We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. Dive deeper into the earnings by checking this interactive graph of Gartner's earnings, revenue and cash flow.
A Different Perspective
We're pleased to report that Gartner shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 7.2% over one year. However, that falls short of the 21% TSR per annum it has made for shareholders, each year, over five years. Potential buyers might understandably feel they've missed the opportunity, but it's always possible business is still firing on all cylinders. 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. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 3 warning signs with Gartner (at least 1 which is significant) , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.
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 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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