Did Business Growth Power Applied Materials’s (NASDAQ:AMAT) Share Price Gain of 162%?

When you buy a stock there is always a possibility that it could drop 100%. But on the bright side, you can make far more than 100% on a really good stock. One great example is Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT) which saw its share price drive 162% higher over five years. On top of that, the share price is up 22% in about a quarter. But this could be related to the strong market, which is up 12% in the last three months.

See our latest analysis for Applied Materials

While the efficient markets hypothesis continues to be taught by some, it has been proven that markets are over-reactive dynamic systems, and investors are not always rational. 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, Applied Materials managed to grow its earnings per share at 27% a year. This EPS growth is higher than the 21% average annual increase in the share price. So it seems the market isn’t so enthusiastic about the stock these days.

The company’s earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).

NasdaqGS:AMAT Past and Future Earnings, January 17th 2020
NasdaqGS:AMAT Past and Future Earnings, January 17th 2020

Dive deeper into Applied Materials’s key metrics by checking this interactive graph of Applied Materials’s earnings, revenue and cash flow.

What About Dividends?

When looking at investment returns, it is important to consider the difference between total shareholder return (TSR) and share price return. The TSR incorporates the value of any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings, along with any dividends, based on the assumption that the dividends are reinvested. It’s fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. We note that for Applied Materials the TSR over the last 5 years was 184%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

It’s nice to see that Applied Materials shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 80% over the last year. That’s including the dividend. That gain is better than the annual TSR over five years, which is 23%. Therefore it seems like sentiment around the company has been positive lately. Someone with an optimistic perspective could view the recent improvement in TSR as indicating that the business itself is getting better with time. It’s always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Applied Materials better, we need to consider many other factors. Be aware that Applied Materials is showing 1 warning sign in our investment analysis , you should know about…

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.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.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.

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. Thank you for reading.