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Workday's (NASDAQ:WDAY) investors will be pleased with their impressive 130% return over the last five years

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Workday, Inc. (NASDAQ:WDAY) shareholders might be concerned after seeing the share price drop 15% in the last month. But in stark contrast, the returns over the last half decade have impressed. Indeed, the share price is up an impressive 130% in that time. We think it's more important to dwell on the long term returns than the short term returns. Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean it's cheap now.

Now it's worth having a look at the company's fundamentals too, because that will help us determine if the long term shareholder return has matched the performance of the underlying business.

Check out our latest analysis for Workday

We don't think that Workday's modest trailing twelve month profit has the market's full attention at the moment. We think revenue is probably a better guide. As a general rule, we think this kind of company is more comparable to loss-making stocks, since the actual profit is so low. It would be hard to believe in a more profitable future without growing revenues.

In the last 5 years Workday saw its revenue grow at 22% per year. Even measured against other revenue-focussed companies, that's a good result. So it's not entirely surprising that the share price reflected this performance by increasing at a rate of 18% per year, in that time. So it seems likely that buyers have paid attention to the strong revenue growth. To our minds that makes Workday worth investigating - it may have its best days ahead.

The graphic below depicts how earnings and revenue have changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).

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

A Different Perspective

We regret to report that Workday shareholders are down 12% for the year. Unfortunately, that's worse than the broader market decline of 2.8%. Having said that, it's inevitable that some stocks will be oversold in a falling market. The key is to keep your eyes on the fundamental developments. On the bright side, long term shareholders have made money, with a gain of 18% per year over half a decade. If the fundamental data continues to indicate long term sustainable growth, the current sell-off could be an opportunity worth considering. While it is well worth considering the different impacts that market conditions can have on the share price, there are other factors that are even more important. Take risks, for example - Workday has 3 warning signs we think you should be aware of.

If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.

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

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.