It might seem bad, but the worst that can happen when you buy a stock (without leverage) is that its share price goes to zero. But if you buy shares in a really great company, you can more than double your money. For instance the Glu Mobile Inc. (NASDAQ:GLUU) share price is 216% higher than it was three years ago. That sort of return is as solid as granite. It's also good to see the share price up 34% over the last quarter.
While Glu Mobile made a small profit, in the last year, we think that the market is probably more focussed on the top line growth at the moment. Generally speaking, we'd consider a stock like this alongside loss-making companies, simply because the quantum of the profit is so low. For shareholders to have confidence a company will grow profits significantly, it must grow revenue.
Glu Mobile's revenue trended up 24% each year over three years. That's well above most pre-profit companies. Along the way, the share price gained 47% per year, a solid pop by our standards. But it does seem like the market is paying attention to strong revenue growth. That's not to say we think the share price is too high. In fact, it might be worth keeping an eye on this one.
You can see below how earnings and revenue have changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
Glu Mobile is well known by investors, and plenty of clever analysts have tried to predict the future profit levels. Given we have quite a good number of analyst forecasts, it might be well worth checking out this free chart depicting consensus estimates.
A Different Perspective
We regret to report that Glu Mobile shareholders are down 27% for the year. Unfortunately, that's worse than the broader market decline of 3.8%. Having said that, it's inevitable that some stocks will be oversold in a falling market. The key is to keep your eyes on the fundamental developments. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 3.5%, 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. I find it very interesting to look at share price over the long term as a proxy for business performance. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. To that end, you should be aware of the 2 warning signs we've spotted with Glu Mobile .
We will like Glu Mobile better if we see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, 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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