For us, stock picking is in large part the hunt for the truly magnificent stocks. Not every pick can be a winner, but when you pick the right stock, you can win big. One bright shining star stock has been SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE:SEAS), which is 513% higher than three years ago. It’s also good to see the share price up 10% over the last quarter. But this move may well have been assisted by the reasonably buoyant market (up 5.8% in 90 days). Anyone who held for that rewarding ride would probably be keen to talk about it.
After a strong gain in the past week, it’s worth seeing if longer term returns have been driven by improving fundamentals.
View our latest analysis for SeaWorld Entertainment
In his essay The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville Warren Buffett described how share prices do not always rationally reflect the value of a business. One way to examine how market sentiment has changed over time is to look at the interaction between a company’s share price and its earnings per share (EPS).
During three years of share price growth, SeaWorld Entertainment achieved compound earnings per share growth of 60% per year. In comparison, the 83% 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. It’s not unusual to see the market ‘re-rate’ a stock, after a few years of growth.
The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
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. Dive deeper into the earnings by checking this interactive graph of SeaWorld Entertainment’s earnings, revenue and cash flow.
A Different Perspective
We regret to report that SeaWorld Entertainment shareholders are down 21% for the year. Unfortunately, that’s worse than the broader market decline of 11%. Having said that, it’s inevitable that some stocks will be oversold in a falling market. The key is to keep your eyes on the fundamental developments. On the bright side, long term shareholders have made money, with a gain of 31% per year over half a decade. 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. I find it very interesting to look at share price over the long term as a proxy for business performance. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. For instance, we’ve identified 2 warning signs for SeaWorld Entertainment that you should be aware of.
If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).
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.