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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 when you pick a company that is really flourishing, you can make more than 100%. For example, the Appian Corporation (NASDAQ:APPN) share price has soared 164% in the last three years. How nice for those who held the stock! In more good news, the share price has risen 6.0% in thirty days. But this could be related to good market conditions -- stocks in its market are up 4.5% in the last month.
Appian isn't currently profitable, so most analysts would look to revenue growth to get an idea of how fast the underlying business is growing. When a company doesn't make profits, we'd generally expect to see good revenue growth. As you can imagine, fast revenue growth, when maintained, often leads to fast profit growth.
Appian's revenue trended up 20% each year over three years. That's well above most pre-profit companies. Along the way, the share price gained 38% per year, a solid pop by our standards. This suggests the market has recognized the progress the business has made, at least to a significant degree. Nonetheless, we'd say Appian is still worth investigating - successful businesses can often keep growing for long periods.
The company's revenue and earnings (over time) are depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
If you are thinking of buying or selling Appian stock, you should check out this FREE detailed report on its balance sheet.
A Different Perspective
Appian produced a TSR of 4.8% over the last year. Unfortunately this falls short of the market return of around 19%. But the (superior) three-year TSR of 38% per year is some consolation. We prefer focus on longer term returns, as they are usually a more meaningful indication of the underlying business. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Appian better, we need to consider many other factors. To that end, you should be aware of the 3 warning signs we've spotted with Appian .
But note: Appian 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.
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. 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.
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