It might seem bad, but the worst that can happen when you buy a stock (without leverage) is that its share price goes to zero. But when you pick a company that is really flourishing, you can make more than 100%. To wit, the Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU) share price has flown 293% in the last three years. Most would be happy with that. Also pleasing for shareholders was the 17% gain in the last three months. But this could be related to the strong market, which is up 12% in the last three months.
There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. One way to examine how market sentiment has changed over time is to look at the interaction between a company’s share price and its earnings per share (EPS).
During three years of share price growth, Micron Technology achieved compound earnings per share growth of 124% per year. The average annual share price increase of 58% is actually lower than the EPS growth. So one could reasonably conclude that the market has cooled on the stock. This cautious sentiment is reflected in its (fairly low) P/E ratio of 3.67.
The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).
It is of course excellent to see how Micron Technology has grown profits over the years, but the future is more important for shareholders. If you are thinking of buying or selling Micron Technology stock, you should check out this FREE detailed report on its balance sheet.
A Different Perspective
Micron Technology shareholders are down 20% for the year, but the market itself is up 11%. Even the share prices of good stocks drop sometimes, but we want to see improvements in the fundamental metrics of a business, before getting too interested. On the bright side, long term shareholders have made money, with a gain of 12% per year over half a decade. If the fundamental data continues to indicate long term sustainable growth, the current sell-off could be an opportunity worth considering. Before spending more time on Micron Technology it might be wise to click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling shares.
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.
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.
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. Thank you for reading.