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Investing in Charles River Laboratories International (NYSE:CRL) five years ago would have delivered you a 425% gain

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We think all investors should try to buy and hold high quality multi-year winners. And highest quality companies can see their share prices grow by huge amounts. For example, the Charles River Laboratories International, Inc. (NYSE:CRL) share price is up a whopping 425% in the last half decade, a handsome return for long term holders. And this is just one example of the epic gains achieved by some long term investors. We note the stock price is up 2.8% in the last seven days.

So let's investigate and see if the longer term performance of the company has been in line with the underlying business' progress.

See our latest analysis for Charles River Laboratories International

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 flawed but reasonable way to assess how sentiment around a company has changed is to compare the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price.

During five years of share price growth, Charles River Laboratories International achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 21% per year. This EPS growth is lower than the 39% average annual increase in the share price. This suggests that market participants hold the company in higher regard, these days. And that's hardly shocking given the track record of growth. This favorable sentiment is reflected in its (fairly optimistic) P/E ratio of 49.10.

The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).

earnings-per-share-growth
earnings-per-share-growth

We know that Charles River Laboratories International has improved its bottom line over the last three years, but what does the future have in store? It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on how its financial position has changed over time.

A Different Perspective

It's good to see that Charles River Laboratories International has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 61% in the last twelve months. That's better than the annualised return of 39% over half a decade, implying that the company is doing better recently. In the best case scenario, this may hint at some real business momentum, implying that now could be a great time to delve deeper. 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 risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 1 warning sign for Charles River Laboratories International you should know about.

Of course Charles River Laboratories International may not be the best stock to buy. So you may wish to see this free collection of growth stocks.

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

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.

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

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