PayPal Holdings' (NASDAQ:PYPL) five-year total shareholder returns outpace the underlying earnings growth

By
Simply Wall St
Published
April 21, 2022
NasdaqGS:PYPL
Source: Shutterstock

The last three months have been tough on PayPal Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:PYPL) shareholders, who have seen the share price decline a rather worrying 45%. But that doesn't change the fact that shareholders have received really good returns over the last five years. Indeed, the share price is up an impressive 114% in that time. To some, the recent pullback wouldn't be surprising after such a fast rise. Ultimately business performance will determine whether the stock price continues the positive long term trend. Unfortunately not all shareholders will have held it for the long term, so spare a thought for those caught in the 64% decline over the last twelve months.

In light of the stock dropping 9.8% 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.

See our latest analysis for PayPal Holdings

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. 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.

Over half a decade, PayPal Holdings managed to grow its earnings per share at 25% a year. This EPS growth is higher than the 16% average annual increase in the share price. So it seems the market isn't so enthusiastic about the stock these days.

The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).

earnings-per-share-growth
NasdaqGS:PYPL Earnings Per Share Growth April 21st 2022

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. Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here..

A Different Perspective

Investors in PayPal Holdings had a tough year, with a total loss of 64%, against a market gain of about 0.5%. 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 16%, each year, over five years. It could be that the recent sell-off is an opportunity, so it may be worth checking the fundamental data for signs of a long term growth trend. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand PayPal Holdings better, we need to consider many other factors. For instance, we've identified 1 warning sign for PayPal Holdings that you should be aware of.

PayPal Holdings is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with insider buying.

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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