Earnings are growing at Leslie's (NASDAQ:LESL) but shareholders still don't like its prospects

·3 min read

Passive investing in an index fund is a good way to ensure your own returns roughly match the overall market. But if you buy individual stocks, you can do both better or worse than that. For example, the Leslie's, Inc. (NASDAQ:LESL) share price is down 46% in the last year. That's well below the market decline of 20%. We wouldn't rush to judgement on Leslie's because we don't have a long term history to look at. Furthermore, it's down 24% in about a quarter. That's not much fun for holders. But this could be related to the weak market, which is down 18% in the same period.

With the stock having lost 6.3% in the past week, it's worth taking a look at business performance and seeing if there's any red flags.

View our latest analysis for Leslie's

There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. One flawed but reasonable way to assess how sentiment around a company has changed is to compare the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price.

During the unfortunate twelve months during which the Leslie's share price fell, it actually saw its earnings per share (EPS) improve by 65%. It could be that the share price was previously over-hyped.

It's surprising to see the share price fall so much, despite the improved EPS. So it's well worth checking out some other metrics, too.

Leslie's' revenue is actually up 18% over the last year. Since the fundamental metrics don't readily explain the share price drop, there might be an opportunity if the market has overreacted.

The graphic below depicts how earnings and revenue have changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).

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

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. If you are thinking of buying or selling Leslie's stock, you should check out this free report showing analyst profit forecasts.

A Different Perspective

Leslie's shareholders are down 46% for the year, even worse than the market loss of 20%. That's disappointing, but it's worth keeping in mind that the market-wide selling wouldn't have helped. The share price decline has continued throughout the most recent three months, down 24%, suggesting an absence of enthusiasm from investors. Given the relatively short history of this stock, we'd remain pretty wary until we see some strong business performance. 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. To that end, you should learn about the 3 warning signs we've spotted with Leslie's (including 2 which are a bit unpleasant) .

There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. You probably do 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.