MercadoLibre's (NASDAQ:MELI) five-year total shareholder returns outpace the underlying earnings growth

  • In Business
  • 2023-01-01 14:19:47Z
  • By Simply Wall St.

It might be of some concern to shareholders to see the MercadoLibre, Inc. (NASDAQ:MELI) share price down 10% in the last month. But that doesn't change the fact that shareholders have received really good returns over the last five years. In fact, the share price is 156% higher today. So while it's never fun to see a share price fall, it's important to look at a longer time horizon. The more important question is whether the stock is too cheap or too expensive today. While the long term returns are impressive, we do have some sympathy for those who bought more recently, given the 37% drop, in the last year.

In light of the stock dropping 3.7% 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.

See our latest analysis for MercadoLibre

We don't think that MercadoLibre's modest trailing twelve month profit has the market's full attention at the moment. We think revenue is probably a better guide. As a general rule, we think this kind of company is more comparable to loss-making stocks, since the actual profit is so low. For shareholders to have confidence a company will grow profits significantly, it must grow revenue.

For the last half decade, MercadoLibre can boast revenue growth at a rate of 45% 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 21% 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 MercadoLibre worth investigating - it may have its best days ahead.

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

We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Even so, future earnings will be far more important to whether current shareholders make money. This free report showing analyst forecasts should help you form a view on MercadoLibre

A Different Perspective

While the broader market lost about 22% in the twelve months, MercadoLibre shareholders did even worse, losing 37%. 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 21%, 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. While it is well worth considering the different impacts that market conditions can have on the share price, there are other factors that are even more important. For instance, we've identified 1 warning sign for MercadoLibre that you should be aware of.

MercadoLibre 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 US exchanges.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at)

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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