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Veeva Systems Inc. (NYSE:VEEV) shareholders might be concerned after seeing the share price drop 24% in the last quarter. But that doesn't change the fact that the returns over the last half decade have been spectacular. In fact, during that period, the share price climbed 394%. Impressive! So it might be that some shareholders are taking profits after good performance. Of course what matters most is whether the business can improve itself sustainably, thus justifying a higher price.
Since the long term performance has been good but there's been a recent pullback of 4.4%, let's check if the fundamentals match the share price.
In his essay The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville Warren Buffett described how share prices do not always rationally reflect the value of a business. One flawed but reasonable way to assess how sentiment around a company has changed is to compare the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price.
Over half a decade, Veeva Systems managed to grow its earnings per share at 42% a year. This EPS growth is reasonably close to the 38% average annual increase in the share price. That suggests that the market sentiment around the company hasn't changed much over that time. Indeed, it would appear the share price is reacting to the EPS.
You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
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. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on Veeva Systems' earnings, revenue and cash flow.
A Different Perspective
Veeva Systems shareholders are down 26% for the year, but the market itself is up 2.8%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 38%, 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. For instance, we've identified 1 warning sign for Veeva Systems that you should be aware of.
We will like Veeva Systems 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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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.