It might seem bad, but the worst that can happen when you buy a stock (without leverage) is that its share price goes to zero. But in contrast you can make much more than 100% if the company does well. For example, the Lifeway Foods, Inc. (NASDAQ:LWAY) share price has soared 151% in the last three years. Most would be happy with that. It's also up 33% in about a month. This could be related to the recent financial results that were recently released - you could check the most recent data by reading our company report.
After a strong gain in the past week, it's worth seeing if longer term returns have been driven by improving fundamentals.
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.
Lifeway Foods became profitable within the last three years. That kind of transition can be an inflection point that justifies a strong share price gain, just as we have seen here.
The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
Dive deeper into Lifeway Foods' key metrics by checking this interactive graph of Lifeway Foods's earnings, revenue and cash flow.
A Different Perspective
It's good to see that Lifeway Foods has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 7.9% in the last twelve months. That certainly beats the loss of about 6% per year over the last half decade. This makes us a little wary, but the business might have turned around its fortunes. 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. Even so, be aware that Lifeway Foods is showing 1 warning sign in our investment analysis , you should know about...
If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.
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.
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