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Investing in Universal Biosensors (ASX:UBI) three years ago would have delivered you a 229% gain

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While Universal Biosensors, Inc. (ASX:UBI) shareholders are probably generally happy, the stock hasn't had particularly good run recently, with the share price falling 12% in the last quarter. But that doesn't undermine the rather lovely longer-term return, if you measure over the last three years. Indeed, the share price is up a very strong 229% in that time. After a run like that some may not be surprised to see prices moderate. The thing to consider is whether the underlying business is doing well enough to support the current price.

So let's investigate and see if the longer term performance of the company has been in line with the underlying business' progress.

See our latest analysis for Universal Biosensors

Universal Biosensors wasn't profitable in the last twelve months, it is unlikely we'll see a strong correlation between its share price and its earnings per share (EPS). Arguably revenue is our next best option. When a company doesn't make profits, we'd generally expect to see good revenue growth. Some companies are willing to postpone profitability to grow revenue faster, but in that case one does expect good top-line growth.

In the last 3 years Universal Biosensors saw its revenue shrink by 86% per year. So we wouldn't have expected the share price to gain 49% per year, but it has. It's a good reminder that expectations about the future, not the past history, always impact share prices.

The company's revenue and earnings (over time) are depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).

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

Take a more thorough look at Universal Biosensors' financial health with this free report on its balance sheet.

A Different Perspective

It's good to see that Universal Biosensors has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 187% in the last twelve months. That's better than the annualised return of 18% over half a decade, implying that the company is doing better recently. Someone with an optimistic perspective could view the recent improvement in TSR as indicating that the business itself is getting better with time. 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. Like risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 2 warning signs for Universal Biosensors (of which 1 can't be ignored!) you should know about.

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 AU exchanges.

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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

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