GMS Inc. (NYSE:GMS) shareholders might be concerned after seeing the share price drop 10% in the last quarter. But over three years, the returns would have left most investors smiling To wit, the share price did better than an index fund, climbing 98% during that period.
Let's take a look at the underlying fundamentals over the longer term, and see if they've been consistent with shareholders returns.
While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. 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.
GMS was able to grow its EPS at 69% per year over three years, sending the share price higher. The average annual share price increase of 26% is actually lower than the EPS growth. Therefore, it seems the market has moderated its expectations for growth, somewhat. We'd venture the lowish P/E ratio of 7.07 also reflects the negative sentiment around the stock.
The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).
It is of course excellent to see how GMS 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
Although it hurts that GMS returned a loss of 5.8% in the last twelve months, the broader market was actually worse, returning a loss of 20%. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 10%, each year, over five years. It could be that the business is just facing some short term problems, but shareholders should keep a close eye on the fundamentals. 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. Take risks, for example - GMS has 1 warning sign we think you should be aware of.
But note: GMS may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with past earnings growth (and further growth forecast).
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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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.