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Investing in STEP Energy Services (TSE:STEP) three years ago would have delivered you a 225% gain

The worst result, after buying shares in a company (assuming no leverage), would be if you lose all the money you put in. But if you buy shares in a really great company, you can more than double your money. To wit, the STEP Energy Services Ltd. (TSE:STEP) share price has flown 225% in the last three years. Most would be happy with that. Better yet, the share price has risen 4.3% in the last week.

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

View our latest analysis for STEP Energy Services

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 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.

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During three years of share price growth, STEP Energy Services moved from a loss to profitability. Given the importance of this milestone, it's not overly surprising that the share price has increased strongly.

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

It's probably worth noting we've seen significant insider buying in the last quarter, which we consider a positive. That said, we think earnings and revenue growth trends are even more important factors to consider. Dive deeper into the earnings by checking this interactive graph of STEP Energy Services' earnings, revenue and cash flow.

A Different Perspective

It's good to see that STEP Energy Services has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 23% in the last twelve months. Since the one-year TSR is better than the five-year TSR (the latter coming in at 10% per year), it would seem that the stock's performance has improved in recent times. Given the share price momentum remains strong, it might be worth taking a closer look at the stock, lest you miss an opportunity. I find it very interesting to look at share price over the long term as a proxy for business performance. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. To that end, you should learn about the 2 warning signs we've spotted with STEP Energy Services (including 1 which is potentially serious) .

STEP Energy Services is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with insider buying.

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

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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.