The 5.9% return this week takes Altair Engineering's (NASDAQ:ALTR) shareholders three-year gains to 45%

·2 min read

Altair Engineering Inc. (NASDAQ:ALTR) shareholders might be concerned after seeing the share price drop 15% in the last quarter. But at least the stock is up over the last three years. Arguably you'd have been better off buying an index fund, because the gain of 45% in three years isn't amazing.

On the back of a solid 7-day performance, let's check what role the company's fundamentals have played in driving long term shareholder returns.

View our latest analysis for Altair Engineering

While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just 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.

Altair Engineering has made a profit in the past. On the other hand, it reported a trailing twelve months loss, suggesting it isn't reliably profitable. So it might be better to look at other metrics to try to understand the share price.

It could be that the revenue growth of 8.7% per year is viewed as evidence that Altair Engineering is growing. In that case, the company may be sacrificing current earnings per share to drive growth, and maybe shareholder's faith in better days ahead will be rewarded.

You can see below how earnings and revenue have changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).

earnings-and-revenue-growth
earnings-and-revenue-growth

We're pleased to report that the CEO is remunerated more modestly than most CEOs at similarly capitalized companies. It's always worth keeping an eye on CEO pay, but a more important question is whether the company will grow earnings throughout the years. If you are thinking of buying or selling Altair Engineering stock, you should check out this free report showing analyst profit forecasts.

A Different Perspective

The last twelve months weren't great for Altair Engineering shares, which performed worse than the market, costing holders 18%. The market shed around 8.9%, no doubt weighing on the stock price. Investors are up over three years, booking 13% per year, much better than the more recent returns. Sometimes when a good quality long term winner has a weak period, it's turns out to be an opportunity, but you really need to be sure that the quality is there. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Altair Engineering better, we need to consider many other factors. For example, we've discovered 3 warning signs for Altair Engineering that you should be aware of before investing here.

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.

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.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting