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Passive investing in an index fund is a good way to ensure your own returns roughly match the overall market. While individual stocks can be big winners, plenty more fail to generate satisfactory returns. For example, the Zuora, Inc. (NYSE:ZUO) share price is down 35% in the last year. That contrasts poorly with the market decline of 12%. To make matters worse, the returns over three years have also been really disappointing (the share price is 31% lower than three years ago). Shareholders have had an even rougher run lately, with the share price down 30% in the last 90 days. We note that the company has reported results fairly recently; and the market is hardly delighted. You can check out the latest numbers in our company report.
Now let's have a look at the company's fundamentals, and see if the long term shareholder return has matched the performance of the underlying business.
Because Zuora made a loss in the last twelve months, we think the market is probably more focussed on revenue and revenue growth, at least for now. Generally speaking, companies without profits are expected to grow revenue every year, and at a good clip. That's because fast revenue growth can be easily extrapolated to forecast profits, often of considerable size.
In the last year Zuora saw its revenue grow by 15%. We think that is pretty nice growth. Unfortunately that wasn't good enough to stop the share price dropping 35%. You might even wonder if the share price was previously over-hyped. However, that's in the past now, and it's the future that matters most.
You can see below how earnings and revenue have changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
You can see how its balance sheet has strengthened (or weakened) over time in this free interactive graphic.
A Different Perspective
The last twelve months weren't great for Zuora shares, which performed worse than the market, costing holders 35%. The market shed around 12%, no doubt weighing on the stock price. Shareholders have lost 9% per year over the last three years, so the share price drop has become steeper, over the last year; a potential symptom of as yet unsolved challenges. Although Baron Rothschild famously said to "buy when there's blood in the streets, even if the blood is your own", he also focusses on high quality stocks with solid prospects. 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. Case in point: We've spotted 3 warning signs for Zuora you should be aware of.
But note: Zuora 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.
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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.