The most you can lose on any stock (assuming you don't use leverage) is 100% of your money. But if you buy shares in a really great company, you can more than double your money. For example, the Comfort Systems USA, Inc. (NYSE:FIX) share price has soared 265% in the last three years. How nice for those who held the stock! In more good news, the share price has risen 10% in thirty days. We note that Comfort Systems USA reported its financial results recently; luckily, you can catch up on the latest revenue and profit numbers in our company report.
Let's take a look at the underlying fundamentals over the longer term, and see if they've been consistent with shareholders returns.
View our latest analysis for Comfort Systems USA
While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just 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.
Comfort Systems USA was able to grow its EPS at 28% per year over three years, sending the share price higher. In comparison, the 54% per year gain in the share price outpaces the EPS growth. This indicates that the market is feeling more optimistic on the stock, after the last few years of progress. It's not unusual to see the market 're-rate' a stock, after a few years of growth.
The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).
We know that Comfort Systems USA has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? If you're interested, you could check this free report showing consensus revenue forecasts.
What About Dividends?
When looking at investment returns, it is important to consider the difference between total shareholder return (TSR) and share price return. Whereas the share price return only reflects the change in the share price, the TSR includes the value of dividends (assuming they were reinvested) and the benefit of any discounted capital raising or spin-off. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. As it happens, Comfort Systems USA's TSR for the last 3 years was 270%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
It's nice to see that Comfort Systems USA shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 56% over the last year. Of course, that includes the dividend. That gain is better than the annual TSR over five years, which is 28%. Therefore it seems like sentiment around the company has been positive lately. In the best case scenario, this may hint at some real business momentum, implying that now could be a great time to delve deeper. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Comfort Systems USA better, we need to consider many other factors. To that end, you should be aware of the 1 warning sign we've spotted with Comfort Systems USA .
If you would prefer to check out another company -- one with potentially superior financials -- then do not miss this free list of companies that have proven they can grow earnings.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on American 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.