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Did Appian's (NASDAQ:APPN) Share Price Deserve to Gain 12%?

Simply Wall St

Passive investing in index funds can generate returns that roughly match the overall market. But one can do better than that by picking better than average stocks (as part of a diversified portfolio). For example, the Appian Corporation (NASDAQ:APPN) share price is up 12% in the last year, clearly besting than the market return of around 3.8% (not including dividends). If it can keep that out-performance up over the long term, investors will do very well! We'll need to follow Appian for a while to get a better sense of its share price trend, since it hasn't been listed for particularly long.

See our latest analysis for Appian

Appian isn't currently profitable, so most analysts would look to revenue growth to get an idea of how fast the underlying business is growing. Generally speaking, companies without profits are expected to grow revenue every year, and at a good clip. Some companies are willing to postpone profitability to grow revenue faster, but in that case one does expect good top-line growth.

In the last year Appian saw its revenue grow by 23%. That's a fairly respectable growth rate. Buyers pushed the share price 12% in response, which isn't unreasonable. If the company can maintain the revenue growth, the share price could go higher still. But before deciding this growth stock is underappreciated, you might want to check out profitability trends (and cash flow)

You can see how earnings and revenue have changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).

NasdaqGM:APPN Income Statement, July 23rd 2019

We're pleased to report that the CEO is remunerated more modestly than most CEOs at similarly capitalized 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. So we recommend checking out this free report showing consensus forecasts

A Different Perspective

It's nice to see that Appian shareholders have gained 12% over the last year. A substantial portion of that gain has come in the last three months, with the stock up 7.7% in that time. Demand for the stock from multiple parties is pushing the price higher; it could be that word is getting out about its virtues as a business. Before spending more time on Appian it might be wise to click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling shares.

Of course Appian 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.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.