Investing in SMART Global Holdings (NASDAQ:SGH) five years ago would have delivered you a 64% gain

It might be of some concern to shareholders to see the SMART Global Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:SGH) share price down 12% in the last month. But the silver lining is the stock is up over five years. However we are not very impressed because the share price is only up 64%, less than the market return of 69%. While the long term returns are impressive, we do have some sympathy for those who bought more recently, given the 27% drop, in the last year.

Let's take a look at the underlying fundamentals over the longer term, and see if they've been consistent with shareholders returns.

See our latest analysis for SMART Global Holdings

To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it's a weighing machine. By comparing earnings per share (EPS) and share price changes over time, we can get a feel for how investor attitudes to a company have morphed over time.

During five years of share price growth, SMART Global Holdings achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 108% per year. The EPS growth is more impressive than the yearly share price gain of 10% over the same period. So it seems the market isn't so enthusiastic about the stock these days.

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

It's probably worth noting we've seen significant insider buying in the last quarter, which we consider a positive. On the other hand, we think the revenue and earnings trends are much more meaningful measures of the business. Dive deeper into the earnings by checking this interactive graph of SMART Global Holdings' earnings, revenue and cash flow.

A Different Perspective

We regret to report that SMART Global Holdings shareholders are down 27% for the year. Unfortunately, that's worse than the broader market decline of 16%. However, it could simply be that the share price has been impacted by broader market jitters. It might be worth keeping an eye on the fundamentals, in case there's a good opportunity. On the bright side, long term shareholders have made money, with a gain of 10% 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. I find it very interesting to look at share price over the long term as a proxy for business performance. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. To that end, you should be aware of the 2 warning signs we've spotted with SMART Global Holdings .

SMART Global Holdings is not the only stock that insiders are buying. For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.

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.

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