The main point of investing for the long term is to make money. Better yet, you'd like to see the share price move up more than the market average. But Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU) has fallen short of that second goal, with a share price rise of 39% over five years, which is below the market return. The last year has been disappointing, with the stock price down 32% in that time.
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.
There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. 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.
During five years of share price growth, Micron Technology achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 11% per year. The EPS growth is more impressive than the yearly share price gain of 7% over the same period. Therefore, it seems the market has become relatively pessimistic about the company. The reasonably low P/E ratio of 7.21 also suggests market apprehension.
You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
We know that Micron Technology has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? You could check out this free report showing analyst revenue forecasts.
A Different Perspective
While the broader market lost about 14% in the twelve months, Micron Technology shareholders did even worse, losing 32% (even including dividends). However, it could simply be that the share price has been impacted by broader market jitters. It might be worth keeping an eye on the fundamentals, in case there's a good opportunity. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 7%, each year, over five years. If the fundamental data continues to indicate long term sustainable growth, the current sell-off could be an opportunity worth considering. While it is well worth considering the different impacts that market conditions can have on the share price, there are other factors that are even more important. For instance, we've identified 1 warning sign for Micron Technology that you should be aware of.
We will like Micron Technology 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.
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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.
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