Investing in Wolfspeed (NYSE:WOLF) five years ago would have delivered you a 295% gain

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The worst result, after buying shares in a company (assuming no leverage), would be if you lose all the money you put in. But on the bright side, you can make far more than 100% on a really good stock. One great example is Wolfspeed, Inc. (NYSE:WOLF) which saw its share price drive 295% higher over five years. It’s also good to see the share price up 31% over the last quarter.

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 Wolfspeed

Wolfspeed isn’t currently profitable, so most analysts would look to revenue growth to get an idea of how fast the underlying business is growing. Shareholders of unprofitable companies usually expect strong revenue growth. Some companies are willing to postpone profitability to grow revenue faster, but in that case one does expect good top-line growth.

Over the last half decade Wolfspeed’s revenue has actually been trending down at about 19% per year. Given that scenario, we wouldn’t have expected the share price to rise 32% per year, but that’s what it did. It just goes to show tht the market is forward looking, and it’s not always easy to predict the future based on past trends. Still, we are a bit cautious in this kind of situation.

The image below shows how earnings and revenue have tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).

NYSE:WOLF Earnings and Revenue Growth January 10th 2022

We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. So we recommend checking out this free report showing consensus forecasts

A Different Perspective

While the broader market gained around 15% in the last year, Wolfspeed shareholders lost 4.2%. Even the share prices of good stocks drop sometimes, but we want to see improvements in the fundamental metrics of a business, before getting too interested. Longer term investors wouldn’t be so upset, since they would have made 32%, 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. Even so, be aware that Wolfspeed is showing 3 warning signs in our investment analysis , you should know about…

If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).

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

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.