Investing in Shift4 Payments (NYSE:FOUR) a year ago would have delivered you a 38% gain
These days it's easy to simply buy an index fund, and your returns should (roughly) match the market. But investors can boost returns by picking market-beating companies to own shares in. For example, the Shift4 Payments, Inc. (NYSE:FOUR) share price is up 38% in the last 1 year, clearly besting the market decline of around 8.5% (not including dividends). If it can keep that out-performance up over the long term, investors will do very well! Note that businesses generally develop over the long term, so the returns over the last year might not reflect a long term trend.
Let's take a look at the underlying fundamentals over the longer term, and see if they've been consistent with shareholders returns.
See our latest analysis for Shift4 Payments
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 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.
Shift4 Payments went from making a loss to reporting a profit, in the last year.
When a company is just on the edge of profitability it can be well worth considering other metrics in order to more precisely gauge growth (and therefore understand share price movements).
However the year on year revenue growth of 57% would help. We do see some companies suppress earnings in order to accelerate revenue growth.
You can see how earnings and revenue have changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
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. You can see what analysts are predicting for Shift4 Payments in this interactive graph of future profit estimates.
A Different Perspective
Shift4 Payments boasts a total shareholder return of 38% for the last year. And the share price momentum remains respectable, with a gain of 37% in the last three months. Demand for the stock from multiple parties is pushing the price higher; it could be that word is getting out about its virtues as a business. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Shift4 Payments better, we need to consider many other factors. Case in point: We've spotted 3 warning signs for Shift4 Payments you should be aware of, and 2 of them shouldn't be ignored.
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 US exchanges.
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.
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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