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Investors Who Bought MercadoLibre (NASDAQ:MELI) Shares Five Years Ago Are Now Up 360%

Simply Wall St

We think all investors should try to buy and hold high quality multi-year winners. And highest quality companies can see their share prices grow by huge amounts. Just think about the savvy investors who held MercadoLibre, Inc. (NASDAQ:MELI) shares for the last five years, while they gained 360%. And this is just one example of the epic gains achieved by some long term investors.

View our latest analysis for MercadoLibre

MercadoLibre isn't a profitable company, so 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. That's because fast revenue growth can be easily extrapolated to forecast profits, often of considerable size.

In the last 5 years MercadoLibre saw its revenue grow at 27% per year. Even measured against other revenue-focussed companies, that's a good result. Arguably, this is well and truly reflected in the strong share price gain of 36%(per year) over the same period. It's never too late to start following a top notch stock like MercadoLibre, since some long term winners go on winning for decades. So we'd recommend you take a closer look at this one, but keep in mind the market seems optimistic.

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

NasdaqGS:MELI Income Statement, December 17th 2019

MercadoLibre is well known by investors, and plenty of clever analysts have tried to predict the future profit levels. You can see what analysts are predicting for MercadoLibre in this interactive graph of future profit estimates.

What about the Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?

Investors should note that there's a difference between MercadoLibre's total shareholder return (TSR) and its share price change, which we've covered above. The TSR is a return calculation that accounts for the value of cash dividends (assuming that any dividend received was reinvested) and the calculated value of any discounted capital raisings and spin-offs. Its history of dividend payouts mean that MercadoLibre's TSR of 365% over the last 5 years is better than the share price return.

A Different Perspective

We're pleased to report that MercadoLibre shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 87% over one year. That's better than the annualised return of 36% over half a decade, implying that the company is doing better recently. Someone with an optimistic perspective could view the recent improvement in TSR as indicating that the business itself is getting better with time. Shareholders might want to examine this detailed historical graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.

We will like MercadoLibre better if we see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, insider buying.

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 editorial-team@simplywallst.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.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Thank you for reading.