Investing in Zebra Technologies (NASDAQ:ZBRA) five years ago would have delivered you a 82% gain

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If you want to compound wealth in the stock market, you can do so by buying an index fund. But in our experience, buying the right stocks can give your wealth a significant boost. For example, the Zebra Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ:ZBRA) share price is up 82% in the last five years, slightly above the market return. Also positive is the 17% share price rise over the last year.

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 Zebra Technologies

There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. 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, Zebra Technologies actually saw its EPS drop 8.6% per year.

Essentially, it doesn’t seem likely that investors are focused on EPS. Since the change in EPS doesn’t seem to correlate with the change in share price, it’s worth taking a look at other metrics.

On the other hand, Zebra Technologies’ revenue is growing nicely, at a compound rate of 4.3% over the last five years. It’s quite possible that management are prioritizing revenue growth over EPS growth at the moment.

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

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 it makes a lot of sense to check out what analysts think Zebra Technologies will earn in the future (free profit forecasts).

A Different Perspective

Zebra Technologies shareholders gained a total return of 17% during the year. But that was short of the market average. The silver lining is that the gain was actually better than the average annual return of 13% per year over five year. This suggests the company might be improving over time. It’s always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Zebra Technologies better, we need to consider many other factors. Even so, be aware that Zebra Technologies is showing 3 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 1 of those is a bit concerning…

Zebra Technologies is not the only stock that insiders are buying. For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.

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