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The 8.3% return this week takes Xero's (ASX:XRO) shareholders five-year gains to 157%

It hasn't been the best quarter for Xero Limited (ASX:XRO) shareholders, since the share price has fallen 15% in that time. But in stark contrast, the returns over the last half decade have impressed. We think most investors would be happy with the 157% return, over that period. So while it's never fun to see a share price fall, it's important to look at a longer time horizon. Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean it's cheap now. Unfortunately not all shareholders will have held it for the long term, so spare a thought for those caught in the 47% decline over the last twelve months.

On the back of a solid 7-day performance, let's check what role the company's fundamentals have played in driving long term shareholder returns.

Check out our latest analysis for Xero

Xero wasn't profitable in the last twelve months, it is unlikely we'll see a strong correlation between its share price and its earnings per share (EPS). Arguably revenue is our next best option. Generally speaking, companies without profits are expected to grow revenue every year, and at a good clip. As you can imagine, fast revenue growth, when maintained, often leads to fast profit growth.

In the last 5 years Xero saw its revenue grow at 24% per year. Even measured against other revenue-focussed companies, that's a good result. Meanwhile, its share price performance certainly reflects the strong growth, given the share price grew at 21% per year, compound, during the period. This suggests the market has well and truly recognized the progress the business has made. To our minds that makes Xero worth investigating - it may have its best days ahead.

You can see how earnings and revenue have changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).

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

We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Even so, future earnings will be far more important to whether current shareholders make money. If you are thinking of buying or selling Xero stock, you should check out this free report showing analyst profit forecasts.

A Different Perspective

While the broader market lost about 4.7% in the twelve months, Xero shareholders did even worse, losing 47%. However, it could simply be that the share price has been impacted by broader market jitters. It might be worth keeping an eye on the fundamentals, in case there's a good opportunity. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 21%, 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. Investors who like to make money usually check up on insider purchases, such as the price paid, and total amount bought. You can find out about the insider purchases of Xero by clicking this link.

There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. You probably do 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 AU 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.

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