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Shareholders in Royalty Pharma (NASDAQ:RPRX) are in the red if they invested a year ago

·3-min read

The simplest way to benefit from a rising market is to buy an index fund. While individual stocks can be big winners, plenty more fail to generate satisfactory returns. Unfortunately the Royalty Pharma plc (NASDAQ:RPRX) share price slid 13% over twelve months. That's disappointing when you consider the market returned 32%. Royalty Pharma hasn't been listed for long, so although we're wary of recent listings that perform poorly, it may still prove itself with time. The falls have accelerated recently, with the share price down 11% in the last three months.

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 Royalty Pharma

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

Unfortunately Royalty Pharma reported an EPS drop of 81% for the last year. The share price fall of 13% isn't as bad as the reduction in earnings per share. So the market may not be too worried about the EPS figure, at the moment -- or it may have expected earnings to drop faster. With a P/E ratio of 45.21, it's fair to say the market sees an EPS rebound on the cards.

You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).

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

We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Even so, future earnings will be far more important to whether current shareholders make money. This free interactive report on Royalty Pharma's earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.

A Different Perspective

Given that the market gained 32% in the last year, Royalty Pharma shareholders might be miffed that they lost 11% (even including dividends). However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. With the stock down 11% over the last three months, the market doesn't seem to believe that the company has solved all its problems. Given the relatively short history of this stock, we'd remain pretty wary until we see some strong business performance. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Royalty Pharma better, we need to consider many other factors. Case in point: We've spotted 3 warning signs for Royalty Pharma you should be aware of.

Royalty Pharma is not the only stock that insiders are buying. For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.

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.

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