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Sunrun (NASDAQ:RUN) shareholders are still up 889% over 5 years despite pulling back 8.2% in the past week

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For many, the main point of investing in the stock market is to achieve spectacular returns. While not every stock performs well, when investors win, they can win big. For example, the Sunrun Inc. (NASDAQ:RUN) share price is up a whopping 889% in the last half decade, a handsome return for long term holders. This just goes to show the value creation that some businesses can achieve. Also pleasing for shareholders was the 20% gain in the last three months. The company reported its financial results recently; you can catch up on the latest numbers by reading our company report. It really delights us to see such great share price performance for investors.

Although Sunrun has shed US$983m from its market cap this week, let's take a look at its longer term fundamental trends and see if they've driven returns.

Check out our latest analysis for Sunrun

While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. By comparing earnings per share (EPS) and share price changes over time, we can get a feel for how investor attitudes to a company have morphed over time.

During five years of share price growth, Sunrun actually saw its EPS drop 64% per year.

This means it's unlikely the market is judging the company based on earnings growth. Because earnings per share don't seem to match up with the share price, we'll take a look at other metrics instead.

On the other hand, Sunrun's revenue is growing nicely, at a compound rate of 21% over the last five years. It's quite possible that management are prioritizing revenue growth over EPS growth at the moment.

The image below shows how earnings and revenue have tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).

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

It's probably worth noting that the CEO is paid less than the median at similar sized companies. But while CEO remuneration is always worth checking, the really important question is whether the company can grow earnings going forward. So we recommend checking out this free report showing consensus forecasts

A Different Perspective

Sunrun shareholders are down 17% for the year, but the market itself is up 28%. Even the share prices of good stocks drop sometimes, but we want to see improvements in the fundamental metrics of a business, before getting too interested. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 58%, each year, over five years. If the fundamental data continues to indicate long term sustainable growth, the current sell-off could be an opportunity worth considering. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Sunrun better, we need to consider many other factors. Like risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 3 warning signs for Sunrun (of which 1 doesn't sit too well with us!) you should know about.

Of course Sunrun 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.