The most you can lose on any stock (assuming you don't use leverage) is 100% of your money. But on a lighter note, a good company can see its share price rise well over 100%. One great example is Semtech Corporation (NASDAQ:SMTC) which saw its share price drive 104% higher over five years. And in the last month, the share price has gained 1.7%.
There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. 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.
During the last half decade, Semtech became profitable. Sometimes, the start of profitability is a major inflection point that can signal fast earnings growth to come, which in turn justifies very strong share price gains. Given that the company made a profit three years ago, but not five years ago, it is worth looking at the share price returns over the last three years, too. Indeed, the Semtech share price has gained 65% in three years. During the same period, EPS grew by 0.7% each year. Notably, the EPS growth has been slower than the annualised share price gain of 18% over three years. So one can reasonably conclude the market is more enthusiastic about the stock than it was three years ago.
The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on Semtech's earnings, revenue and cash flow.
A Different Perspective
Semtech shareholders gained a total return of 3.6% during the year. But that was short of the market average. If we look back over five years, the returns are even better, coming in at 15% per year for five years. Maybe the share price is just taking a breather while the business executes on its growth strategy. If you would like to research Semtech in more detail then you might want to take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in the company.
We will like Semtech better if we see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, 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.
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.
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