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Investing in Occidental Petroleum (NYSE:OXY) a year ago would have delivered you a 145% gain

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The most you can lose on any stock (assuming you don’t use leverage) is 100% of your money. But if you pick the right stock, you can make a lot more than 100%. For example, the Occidental Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:OXY) share price has soared 143% return in just a single year. It’s also up 19% in about a month. And shareholders have also done well over the long term, with an increase of 41% in the last three years.

With that in mind, it’s worth seeing if the company’s underlying fundamentals have been the driver of long term performance, or if there are some discrepancies.

See our latest analysis for Occidental Petroleum

While the efficient markets hypothesis continues to be taught by some, it has been proven that markets are over-reactive dynamic systems, and investors are not always rational. By comparing earnings per share (EPS) and share price changes over time, we can get a feel for how investor attitudes to a company have morphed over time.

Occidental Petroleum went from making a loss to reporting a profit, in the last year.

The result looks like a strong improvement to us, so we’re not surprised the market likes the growth. Inflection points like this can be a great time to take a closer look at a company.

The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).

earnings-per-share-growth

It’s good to see that there was some significant insider buying in the last three months. That’s a positive. On the other hand, we think the revenue and earnings trends are much more meaningful measures of the business. Dive deeper into the earnings by checking this interactive graph of Occidental Petroleum’s earnings, revenue and cash flow.

A Different Perspective

It’s nice to see that Occidental Petroleum shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 145% over the last year. Of course, that includes the dividend. Since the one-year TSR is better than the five-year TSR (the latter coming in at 6% per year), it would seem that the stock’s performance has improved in recent times. In the best case scenario, this may hint at some real business momentum, implying that now could be a great time to delve deeper. It’s always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Occidental Petroleum better, we need to consider many other factors. Even so, be aware that Occidental Petroleum is showing 4 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 1 of those makes us a bit uncomfortable…

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.