It hasn't been the best quarter for Xero Limited (ASX:XRO) shareholders, since the share price has fallen 18% in that time. But that doesn't change the fact that shareholders have received really good returns over the last five years. In fact, the share price is 161% higher today. We think it's more important to dwell on the long term returns than the short term returns. Ultimately business performance will determine whether the stock price continues the positive long term trend.
So let's assess the underlying fundamentals over the last 5 years and see if they've moved in lock-step with shareholder returns.
While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. 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.
Xero has made a profit in the past. However, it made a loss in the last twelve months, suggesting profit may be an unreliable metric at this stage. So we might find other metrics can better explain the share price movements.
On the other hand, Xero's revenue is growing nicely, at a compound rate of 22% over the last five years. It's quite possible that management are prioritizing revenue growth over EPS growth at the moment.
You can see how earnings and revenue have changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
It's probably worth noting that the CEO is paid less than the median at similar sized companies. It's always worth keeping an eye on CEO pay, but a more important question is whether the company will grow earnings throughout the years. If you are thinking of buying or selling Xero stock, you should check out this free report showing analyst profit forecasts.
A Different Perspective
We're pleased to report that Xero shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 35% over one year. Since the one-year TSR is better than the five-year TSR (the latter coming in at 21% 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. If you would like to research Xero in more detail then you might want to take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in the company.
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 Australian exchanges.
Valuation is complex, but we're helping make it simple.
Find out whether Xero is potentially over or undervalued by checking out our comprehensive analysis, which includes fair value estimates, risks and warnings, dividends, insider transactions and financial health.View the Free Analysis
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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.