While Arista Networks, Inc. (NYSE:ANET) shareholders are probably generally happy, the stock hasn't had particularly good run recently, with the share price falling 16% in the last quarter. But that scarcely detracts from the really solid long term returns generated by the company over five years. In fact, the share price is 193% higher today. We think it's more important to dwell on the long term returns than the short term returns. Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean it's cheap now.
In his essay The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville Warren Buffett described how share prices do not always rationally reflect the value of a business. 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.
Over half a decade, Arista Networks managed to grow its earnings per share at 56% a year. The EPS growth is more impressive than the yearly share price gain of 24% over the same period. So one could conclude that the broader market has become more cautious towards the stock.
The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
We know that Arista Networks has improved its bottom line over the last three years, but what does the future have in store? This free interactive report on Arista Networks's balance sheet strength is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.
A Different Perspective
While the broader market gained around 1.7% in the last year, Arista Networks shareholders lost 9.0%. Even the share prices of good stocks drop sometimes, but we want to see improvements in the fundamental metrics of a business, before getting too interested. On the bright side, long term shareholders have made money, with a gain of 24% per year over half a decade. If the fundamental data continues to indicate long term sustainable growth, the current sell-off could be an opportunity worth considering. Before forming an opinion on Arista Networks you might want to consider these 3 valuation metrics.
Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of companies we expect will grow earnings.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.
We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.