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Investing in Power Integrations (NASDAQ:POWI) five years ago would have delivered you a 104% gain

Stock pickers are generally looking for stocks that will outperform the broader market. And the truth is, you can make significant gains if you buy good quality businesses at the right price. For example, the Power Integrations, Inc. (NASDAQ:POWI) share price is up 96% in the last 5 years, clearly besting the market return of around 38% (ignoring dividends).

So let's assess the underlying fundamentals over the last 5 years and see if they've moved in lock-step with shareholder returns.

See our latest analysis for Power Integrations

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, Power Integrations managed to grow its earnings per share at 27% a year. The EPS growth is more impressive than the yearly share price gain of 14% over the same period. Therefore, it seems the market has become relatively pessimistic about the company.

You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).


It is of course excellent to see how Power Integrations has grown profits over the years, but the future is more important for shareholders. If you are thinking of buying or selling Power Integrations stock, you should check out this FREE detailed report on its balance sheet.

What About Dividends?

When looking at investment returns, it is important to consider the difference between total shareholder return (TSR) and share price return. Whereas the share price return only reflects the change in the share price, the TSR includes the value of dividends (assuming they were reinvested) and the benefit of any discounted capital raising or spin-off. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. As it happens, Power Integrations' TSR for the last 5 years was 104%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!

A Different Perspective

Although it hurts that Power Integrations returned a loss of 19% in the last twelve months, the broader market was actually worse, returning a loss of 22%. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 15%, each year, over five years. In the best case scenario the last year is just a temporary blip on the journey to a brighter future. 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. Case in point: We've spotted 2 warning signs for Power Integrations you should be aware of, and 1 of them makes us a bit uncomfortable.

For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.

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

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.

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