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Investing in Zuora (NYSE:ZUO) a year ago would have delivered you a 91% gain

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The simplest way to invest in stocks is to buy exchange traded funds. But one can do better than that by picking better than average stocks (as part of a diversified portfolio). To wit, the Zuora, Inc. (NYSE:ZUO) share price is 91% higher than it was a year ago, much better than the market return of around 28% (not including dividends) in the same period. That's a solid performance by our standards! However, the stock hasn't done so well in the longer term, with the stock only up 23% in three years.

So let's assess the underlying fundamentals over the last 1 year and see if they've moved in lock-step with shareholder returns.

View our latest analysis for Zuora

Zuora isn't currently profitable, so most analysts would look to revenue growth to get an idea of how fast the underlying business is growing. Shareholders of unprofitable companies usually expect strong revenue growth. As you can imagine, fast revenue growth, when maintained, often leads to fast profit growth.

Zuora grew its revenue by 11% last year. That's not a very high growth rate considering it doesn't make profits. In keeping with the revenue growth, the share price gained 91% in that time. While not a huge gain tht seems pretty reasonable. Given the market doesn't seem too excited about the stock, a closer look at the financial data could pay off, if you can find indications of a stronger growth trend in the future.

You can see below how earnings and revenue have changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).

earnings-and-revenue-growth
earnings-and-revenue-growth

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. You can see what analysts are predicting for Zuora in this interactive graph of future profit estimates.

A Different Perspective

Pleasingly, Zuora's total shareholder return last year was 91%. That gain actually surpasses the 7% TSR it generated (per year) over three years. Given the track record of solid returns over varying time frames, it might be worth putting Zuora on your watchlist. 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 3 warning signs we've spotted with Zuora .

Of course Zuora 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. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.