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Investing in Aviat Networks (NASDAQ:AVNW) five years ago would have delivered you a 609% gain

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Buying shares in the best businesses can build meaningful wealth for you and your family. While not every stock performs well, when investors win, they can win big. To wit, the Aviat Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ:AVNW) share price has soared 609% over five years. This just goes to show the value creation that some businesses can achieve. The last week saw the share price soften some 2.1%. We love happy stories like this one. The company should be really proud of that performance!

Now it's worth having a look at the company's fundamentals too, because that will help us determine if the long term shareholder return has matched the performance of the underlying business.

Check out our latest analysis for Aviat Networks

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 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 the five years of share price growth, Aviat Networks moved from a loss to profitability. That kind of transition can be an inflection point that justifies a strong share price gain, just as we have seen here. Since the company was unprofitable five years ago, but not three years ago, it's worth taking a look at the returns in the last three years, too. We can see that the Aviat Networks share price is up 329% in the last three years. During the same period, EPS grew by 285% each year. This EPS growth is higher than the 62% average annual increase in the share price over the same three years. Therefore, it seems the market has moderated its expectations for growth, somewhat. This unenthusiastic sentiment is reflected in the stock's reasonably modest P/E ratio of 3.05.

The company's earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).

earnings-per-share-growth
earnings-per-share-growth

We know that Aviat Networks 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.

A Different Perspective

We're pleased to report that Aviat Networks shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 173% over one year. Since the one-year TSR is better than the five-year TSR (the latter coming in at 48% per year), it would seem that the stock's performance has improved in recent times. Someone with an optimistic perspective could view the recent improvement in TSR as indicating that the business itself is getting better with time. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Aviat Networks better, we need to consider many other factors. Take risks, for example - Aviat Networks has 4 warning signs (and 2 which are a bit concerning) we think you should know about.

Of course Aviat Networks may not be the best stock to buy. So you may wish to see this free collection of growth stocks.

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

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.

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

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