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Did You Miss Square's (NYSE:SQ) Whopping 586% Share Price Gain?

Simply Wall St

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While Square, Inc. (NYSE:SQ) shareholders are probably generally happy, the stock hasn't had particularly good run recently, with the share price falling 19% in the last quarter. But that doesn't change the fact that the returns over the last three years have been spectacular. Over that time, we've been excited to watch the share price climb an impressive 586%. So the recent fall doesn't do much to dampen our respect for the business. Only time will tell if there is still too much optimism currently reflected in the share price.

It really delights us to see such great share price performance for investors.

See our latest analysis for Square

Given that Square didn't make a profit in the last twelve months, we'll focus on revenue growth to form a quick view of its business development. Generally speaking, companies without profits are expected to grow revenue every year, and at a good clip. As you can imagine, fast revenue growth, when maintained, often leads to fast profit growth.

In the last 3 years Square saw its revenue grow at 31% per year. That's much better than most loss-making companies. And it's not just the revenue that is taking off. The share price is up 90% per year in that time. It's always tempting to take profits after a share price gain like that, but high-growth companies like Square can sometimes sustain strong growth for many years. In fact, it might be time to put it on your watchlist, if you're not already familiar with the stock.

The chart below shows how revenue and earnings have changed with time, (if you click on the chart you can see the actual values).

NYSE:SQ Income Statement, May 29th 2019

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. So we recommend checking out this free report showing consensus forecasts

A Different Perspective

Pleasingly, Square's total shareholder return last year was 14%. That falls short of the 90% it has made, for shareholders, each year, over three years. You might want to assess this data-rich visualization of its earnings, revenue and cash flow.

But note: Square may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with past earnings growth (and further growth forecast).

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.