Monolithic Power Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:MPWR) shareholders have seen the share price descend 20% over the month. But in stark contrast, the returns over the last half decade have impressed. We think most investors would be happy with the 273% return, over that period. We think it's more important to dwell on the long term returns than the short term returns. Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean it's cheap now.
In light of the stock dropping 12% 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.
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.
During five years of share price growth, Monolithic Power Systems achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 34% per year. This EPS growth is reasonably close to the 30% average annual increase in the share price. Therefore one could conclude that sentiment towards the shares hasn't morphed very much. Rather, the share price has approximately tracked EPS growth.
You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
We know that Monolithic Power Systems has improved its bottom line over the last three years, but what does the future have in store? Take a more thorough look at Monolithic Power Systems' financial health with this free report on its balance sheet.
What About Dividends?
As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). The TSR is a return calculation that accounts for the value of cash dividends (assuming that any dividend received was reinvested) and the calculated value of any discounted capital raisings and spin-offs. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. In the case of Monolithic Power Systems, it has a TSR of 289% for the last 5 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
While it's certainly disappointing to see that Monolithic Power Systems shares lost 2.5% throughout the year, that wasn't as bad as the market loss of 20%. Of course, the long term returns are far more important and the good news is that over five years, the stock has returned 31% for each year. It could be that the business is just facing some short term problems, but shareholders should keep a close eye on the fundamentals. 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 2 warning signs for Monolithic Power Systems that 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.
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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.