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Investing in NXP Semiconductors (NASDAQ:NXPI) three years ago would have delivered you a 86% gain

While NXP Semiconductors N.V. (NASDAQ:NXPI) shareholders are probably generally happy, the stock hasn't had particularly good run recently, with the share price falling 13% in the last quarter. But don't let that distract from the very nice return generated over three years. To wit, the share price did better than an index fund, climbing 78% during that period.

So let's assess the underlying fundamentals over the last 3 years and see if they've moved in lock-step with shareholder returns.

See our latest analysis for NXP Semiconductors

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 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.

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During three years of share price growth, NXP Semiconductors achieved compound earnings per share growth of 130% per year. This EPS growth is higher than the 21% average annual increase in the share price. So one could reasonably conclude that the market has cooled on the stock.

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

We know that NXP Semiconductors has improved its bottom line over the last three years, but what does the future have in store? It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on how its financial position has changed over time.

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 NXP Semiconductors, it has a TSR of 86% for the last 3 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!

A Different Perspective

Investors in NXP Semiconductors had a tough year, with a total loss of 1.3% (including dividends), against a market gain of about 6.3%. 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 10%, 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. 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. For example, we've discovered 3 warning signs for NXP Semiconductors that you should be aware of before investing here.

If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on American exchanges.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

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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