ServiceNow, Inc. (NYSE:NOW) shareholders might be concerned after seeing the share price drop 25% in the last quarter. But that scarcely detracts from the really solid long term returns generated by the company over five years. It's fair to say most would be happy with 221% the gain in that time. 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. Unfortunately not all shareholders will have held it for the long term, so spare a thought for those caught in the 43% decline over the last twelve months.
While the stock has fallen 11% this week, it's worth focusing on the longer term and seeing if the stocks historical returns have been driven by the underlying fundamentals.
We don't think that ServiceNow'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. For shareholders to have confidence a company will grow profits significantly, it must grow revenue.
In the last 5 years ServiceNow saw its revenue grow at 27% 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 26% per year, compound, during the period. So it seems likely that buyers have paid attention to the strong revenue growth. ServiceNow seems like a high growth stock - so growth investors might want to add it to their watchlist.
You can see below how earnings and revenue have changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. So we recommend checking out this free report showing consensus forecasts
A Different Perspective
We regret to report that ServiceNow shareholders are down 43% for the year. Unfortunately, that's worse than the broader market decline of 22%. 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 26%, 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. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand ServiceNow better, we need to consider many other factors. Case in point: We've spotted 1 warning sign for ServiceNow you should be aware of.
If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).
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.
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