United Natural Foods' (NYSE:UNFI) investors will be pleased with their enviable 465% return over the last three years
Investing can be hard but the potential fo an individual stock to pay off big time inspires us. Not every pick can be a winner, but when you pick the right stock, you can win big. For example, the United Natural Foods, Inc. (NYSE:UNFI) share price is up a whopping 465% in the last three years, a handsome return for long term holders. Meanwhile the share price is 1.8% higher than it was a week ago.
Now it's worth having a look at the company's fundamentals too, because that will help us determine if the long term shareholder return has matched the performance of the underlying business.
See our latest analysis for United Natural Foods
To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it's a weighing machine. 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.
United Natural 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).
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. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on United Natural Foods' earnings, revenue and cash flow.
A Different Perspective
We're pleased to report that United Natural Foods shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 7.8% over one year. Notably the five-year annualised TSR loss of 2% per year compares very unfavourably with the recent share price performance. The long term loss makes us cautious, but the short term TSR gain certainly hints at a brighter future. 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 4 warning signs for United Natural Foods (1 is concerning) that you should be aware of.
United Natural Foods is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with insider 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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