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Did The Underlying Business Drive Intelsat's (NYSE:I) Lovely 712% Share Price Gain?

Simply Wall St

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For us, stock picking is in large part the hunt for the truly magnificent stocks. You won't get it right every time, but when you do, the returns can be truly splendid. One bright shining star stock has been Intelsat S.A. (NYSE:I), which is 712% higher than three years ago. In the last week the share price is up 6.2%.

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

See our latest analysis for Intelsat

Given that Intelsat 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. When a company doesn't make profits, we'd generally expect to see good revenue growth. Some companies are willing to postpone profitability to grow revenue faster, but in that case one does expect good top-line growth.

Intelsat actually saw its revenue drop by 1.7% per year over three years. This is in stark contrast to the strong share price growth of 101%, compound, per year. There can be no doubt this kind of decoupling of revenue growth and share price growth is unusual to see in loss making companies. So there is a serious possibility that some holders are counting their chickens before they hatch.

The graphic below depicts how earnings and revenue have changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).

NYSE:I Income Statement, July 19th 2019

If you are thinking of buying or selling Intelsat stock, you should check out this FREE detailed report on its balance sheet.

A Different Perspective

It's good to see that Intelsat has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 11% in the last twelve months. That gain is better than the annual TSR over five years, which is 2.5%. Therefore it seems like sentiment around the company has been positive lately. Someone with an optimistic perspective could view the recent improvement in TSR as indicating that the business itself is getting better with time. You might want to assess this data-rich visualization of its earnings, revenue and cash flow.

But note: Intelsat 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.