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While Appian (NASDAQ:APPN) shareholders have made 132% in 5 years, increasing losses might now be front of mind as stock sheds 20% this week

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Appian Corporation (NASDAQ:APPN) shareholders might be concerned after seeing the share price drop 20% in the last week. But in stark contrast, the returns over the last half decade have impressed. We think most investors would be happy with the 132% return, over that period. Generally speaking the long term returns will give you a better idea of business quality than short periods can. Ultimately business performance will determine whether the stock price continues the positive long term trend. While the long term returns are impressive, we do have some sympathy for those who bought more recently, given the 50% drop, in the last year.

In light of the stock dropping 20% in the past week, we want to investigate the longer term story, and see if fundamentals have been the driver of the company's positive five-year return.

Check out our latest analysis for Appian

Appian 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. When a company doesn't make profits, we'd generally expect to see good revenue growth. That's because it's hard to be confident a company will be sustainable if revenue growth is negligible, and it never makes a profit.

For the last half decade, Appian can boast revenue growth at a rate of 18% 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 18% per year, compound, during the period. So it seems likely that buyers have paid attention to the strong revenue growth. To our minds that makes Appian worth investigating - it may have its best days ahead.

You can see below how earnings and revenue have changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).

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

It's probably worth noting that the CEO is paid less than the median at similar sized companies. But while CEO remuneration is always worth checking, the really important question is whether the company can grow earnings going forward. So we recommend checking out this free report showing consensus forecasts

A Different Perspective

While the broader market lost about 12% in the twelve months, Appian shareholders did even worse, losing 50%. 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 18%, 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. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Appian better, we need to consider many other factors. For example, we've discovered 4 warning signs for Appian that you should be aware of before investing here.

But note: Appian 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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