The total return for Mitek Systems (NASDAQ:MITK) investors has risen faster than earnings growth over the last five years

By
Simply Wall St
Published
January 09, 2022
NasdaqCM:MITK
Source: Shutterstock

While Mitek Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:MITK) shareholders are probably generally happy, the stock hasn't had particularly good run recently, with the share price falling 11% in the last quarter. But that doesn't change the fact that shareholders have received really good returns over the last five years. It's fair to say most would be happy with 146% the gain in that time. So while it's never fun to see a share price fall, it's important to look at a longer time horizon. The more important question is whether the stock is too cheap or too expensive today.

In light of the stock dropping 7.9% in the past week, we want to investigate the longer term story, and see if fundamentals have been the driver of the company's positive five-year return.

View our latest analysis for Mitek Systems

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 flawed but reasonable way to assess how sentiment around a company has changed is to compare the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price.

During the five years of share price growth, Mitek Systems moved from a loss to profitability. Sometimes, the start of profitability is a major inflection point that can signal fast earnings growth to come, which in turn justifies very strong share price gains.

The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).

earnings-per-share-growth
NasdaqCM:MITK Earnings Per Share Growth January 9th 2022

It's probably worth noting that the CEO is paid less than the median at similar sized companies. But while CEO remuneration is always worth checking, the really important question is whether the company can grow earnings going forward. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on Mitek Systems' earnings, revenue and cash flow.

A Different Perspective

Mitek Systems shareholders are down 3.8% for the year, but the market itself is up 15%. 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. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 20%, 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. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 3 warning signs with Mitek Systems , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

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.

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