Investing in Advanced Energy Industries (NASDAQ:AEIS) three years ago would have delivered you a 95% gain

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By buying an index fund, you can roughly match the market return with ease. But many of us dare to dream of bigger returns, and build a portfolio ourselves. Just take a look at Advanced Energy Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ:AEIS), which is up 95%, over three years, soundly beating the market return of 76% (not including dividends).

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 Advanced Energy Industries

While the efficient markets hypothesis continues to be taught by some, it has been proven that markets are over-reactive dynamic systems, and investors are not always rational. 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.

Advanced Energy Industries was able to grow its EPS at 13% per year over three years, sending the share price higher. In comparison, the 25% per year gain in the share price outpaces the EPS growth. So it’s fair to assume the market has a higher opinion of the business than it did three years ago. That’s not necessarily surprising considering the three-year track record of earnings growth.

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

earnings-per-share-growth

We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. Dive deeper into the earnings by checking this interactive graph of Advanced Energy Industries’ earnings, revenue and cash flow.

A Different Perspective

While the broader market gained around 15% in the last year, Advanced Energy Industries shareholders lost 20% (even including dividends). Even the share prices of good stocks drop sometimes, but we want to see improvements in the fundamental metrics of a business, before getting too interested. Longer term investors wouldn’t be so upset, since they would have made 9%, each year, over five years. It could be that the recent sell-off is an opportunity, so it may be worth checking the fundamental data for signs of a long term growth trend. If you want to research this stock further, the data on insider buying is an obvious place to start. You can click here to see who has been buying shares – and the price they paid.

Advanced Energy Industries 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.

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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.