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JD.com (NASDAQ:JD) shareholders have earned a 17% CAGR over the last three years

It hasn't been the best quarter for JD.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:JD) shareholders, since the share price has fallen 19% in that time. But over three years, the returns would have left most investors smiling To wit, the share price did better than an index fund, climbing 58% during that period.

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.

View our latest analysis for JD.com

To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it's a weighing machine. By comparing earnings per share (EPS) and share price changes over time, we can get a feel for how investor attitudes to a company have morphed over time.

Over the last three years, JD.com failed to grow earnings per share, which fell 19% (annualized).

This means it's unlikely the market is judging the company based on earnings growth. Given this situation, it makes sense to look at other metrics too.

It could be that the revenue growth of 22% per year is viewed as evidence that JD.com is growing. In that case, the company may be sacrificing current earnings per share to drive growth, and maybe shareholder's faith in better days ahead will be rewarded.

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
earnings-and-revenue-growth

JD.com is a well known stock, with plenty of analyst coverage, suggesting some visibility into future growth. If you are thinking of buying or selling JD.com stock, you should check out this free report showing analyst consensus estimates for future profits.

What About The Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?

Investors should note that there's a difference between JD.com'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. We note that JD.com's TSR, at 62% is higher than its share price return of 58%. When you consider it hasn't been paying a dividend, this data suggests shareholders have benefitted from a spin-off, or had the opportunity to acquire attractively priced shares in a discounted capital raising.

A Different Perspective

While the broader market lost about 19% in the twelve months, JD.com shareholders did even worse, losing 40%. 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. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 7%, 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 JD.com better, we need to consider many other factors. For example, we've discovered 2 warning signs for JD.com that you should be aware of before investing here.

But note: JD.com may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with past earnings growth (and further growth forecast).

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