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Many investors define successful investing as beating the market average over the long term. But if you try your hand at stock picking, your risk returning less than the market. We regret to report that long term Commvault Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CVLT) shareholders have had that experience, with the share price dropping 35% in three years, versus a market return of about 37%. There was little comfort for shareholders in the last week as the price declined a further 1.4%.
Given that Commvault Systems only made minimal earnings in the last twelve months, we'll focus on revenue to gauge its business development. Generally speaking, we'd consider a stock like this alongside loss-making companies, simply because the quantum of the profit is so low. It would be hard to believe in a more profitable future without growing revenues.
In the last three years, Commvault Systems saw its revenue grow by 0.4% per year, compound. That's not a very high growth rate considering it doesn't make profits. Indeed, the stock dropped 10% over the last three years. If revenue growth accelerates, we might see the share price bounce. But ultimately the key will be whether the company can become profitability.
The image below shows how earnings and revenue have tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
You can see how its balance sheet has strengthened (or weakened) over time in this free interactive graphic.
A Different Perspective
Commvault Systems shareholders are down 10% for the year, but the market itself is up 16%. 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. On the bright side, long term shareholders have made money, with a gain of 2.6% 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. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Commvault Systems better, we need to consider many other factors. Even so, be aware that Commvault Systems is showing 4 warning signs in our investment analysis , you should know about...
Of course Commvault Systems 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. 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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