While Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) shareholders are probably generally happy, the stock hasn't had particularly good run recently, with the share price falling 28% in the last quarter. But in stark contrast, the returns over the last half decade have impressed. We think most investors would be happy with the 109% return, over that period. We think it's more important to dwell on the long term returns than the short term returns. The more important question is whether the stock is too cheap or too expensive today.
In light of the stock dropping 9.8% in the past week, we want to investigate the longer term story, and see if fundamentals have been the driver of the company's positive five-year return.
To quote Buffett, 'Ships will sail around the world but the Flat Earth Society will flourish. There will continue to be wide discrepancies between price and value in the marketplace...' One imperfect but simple way to consider how the market perception of a company has shifted is to compare the change in the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price movement.
During five years of share price growth, Amazon.com achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 51% per year. This EPS growth is higher than the 16% average annual increase in the share price. So it seems the market isn't so enthusiastic about the stock these days.
The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
This free interactive report on Amazon.com's earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.
A Different Perspective
We regret to report that Amazon.com shareholders are down 36% for the year. Unfortunately, that's worse than the broader market decline of 12%. 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 16% 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. 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. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 3 warning signs with Amazon.com (at least 1 which can't be ignored) , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.
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.
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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.