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Align Technology (NASDAQ:ALGN) shareholders have endured a 56% loss from investing in the stock three years ago

Align Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:ALGN) shareholders should be happy to see the share price up 18% in the last month. But over the last three years we've seen a quite serious decline. In that time, the share price dropped 56%. So the improvement may be a real relief to some. The rise has some hopeful, but turnarounds are often precarious.

Now let's have a look at the company's fundamentals, and see if the long term shareholder return has matched the performance of the underlying business.

View our latest analysis for Align Technology

There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. 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.

During the three years that the share price fell, Align Technology's earnings per share (EPS) dropped by 40% each year. In comparison the 24% compound annual share price decline isn't as bad as the EPS drop-off. So, despite the prior disappointment, shareholders must have some confidence the situation will improve, longer term. This positive sentiment is also reflected in the generous P/E ratio of 46.70.

The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).

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. On the other hand, we think the revenue and earnings trends are much more meaningful measures of the business. Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here..

A Different Perspective

Align Technology provided a TSR of 17% over the year. That's fairly close to the broader market return. That gain looks pretty satisfying, and it is even better than the five-year TSR of 0.5% per year. Even if the share price growth slows down from here, there's a good chance that this is business worth watching in the long term. It is all well and good that insiders have been buying shares, but we suggest you check here to see what price insiders were buying at.

Align Technology 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 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.