The most you can lose on any stock (assuming you don't use leverage) is 100% of your money. But on the bright side, if you buy shares in a high quality company at the right price, you can gain well over 100%. For instance, the price of Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ:ZNGA) stock is up an impressive 200% over the last five years. Better yet, the share price has risen 11% in the last week. This could be related to the recent financial results, released less than a week ago -- you can catch up on the most recent data by reading our company report.
We don't think that Zynga's modest trailing twelve month profit has the market's full attention at the moment. We think revenue is probably a better guide. Generally speaking, we'd consider a stock like this alongside loss-making companies, simply because the quantum of the profit is so low. It would be hard to believe in a more profitable future without growing revenues.
In the last 5 years Zynga saw its revenue grow at 10% per year. That's a fairly respectable growth rate. Broadly speaking, this solid progress may well be reflected by the healthy share price gain of 25% per year over five years. Given that the business has made good progress on the top line, it would be worth taking a look at the growth trend. When a growth trend accelerates, be it in revenue or earnings, it can indicate an inflection point for the business, which is can often be an opportunity for investors.
The company's revenue and earnings (over time) are depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
It is of course excellent to see how Zynga has grown profits over the years, but the future is more important for shareholders. You can see how its balance sheet has strengthened (or weakened) over time in this free interactive graphic.
A Different Perspective
It's good to see that Zynga has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 38% in the last twelve months. That's better than the annualised return of 25% over half a decade, implying that the company is doing better recently. In the best case scenario, this may hint at some real business momentum, implying that now could be a great time to delve deeper. 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. For example, we've discovered 1 warning sign for Zynga that you should be aware of before investing here.
But note: Zynga 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.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.com. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned.
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