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Those who invested in Merit Medical Systems (NASDAQ:MMSI) five years ago are up 69%

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Merit Medical Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:MMSI) shareholders have seen the share price descend 14% over the month. But at least the stock is up over the last five years. However we are not very impressed because the share price is only up 69%, less than the market return of 74%.

Now it's worth having a look at the company's fundamentals too, because that will help us determine if the long term shareholder return has matched the performance of the underlying business.

View our latest analysis for Merit Medical Systems

To quote Buffett, 'Ships will sail around the world but the Flat Earth Society will flourish. There will continue to be wide discrepancies between price and value in the marketplace...' 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, Merit Medical Systems managed to grow its earnings per share at 4.3% a year. This EPS growth is lower than the 11% average annual increase in the share price. So it's fair to assume the market has a higher opinion of the business than it did five years ago. That's not necessarily surprising considering the five-year track record of earnings growth. This favorable sentiment is reflected in its (fairly optimistic) P/E ratio of 69.46.

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

earnings-per-share-growth
earnings-per-share-growth

We know that Merit Medical Systems 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 it's certainly disappointing to see that Merit Medical Systems shares lost 5.1% throughout the year, that wasn't as bad as the market loss of 12%. Of course, the long term returns are far more important and the good news is that over five years, the stock has returned 11% for each year. In the best case scenario the last year is just a temporary blip on the journey to a brighter future. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Merit Medical Systems better, we need to consider many other factors. Take risks, for example - Merit Medical Systems has 1 warning sign we think you should be aware of.

If you would prefer to check out another company -- one with potentially superior financials -- then do not miss this free list of companies that have proven they can 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.

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.