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Research Solutions' (NASDAQ:RSSS) investors will be pleased with their notable 89% return over the last five years

·3-min read

When we invest, we're generally looking for stocks that outperform the market average. Buying under-rated businesses is one path to excess returns. For example, long term Research Solutions, Inc. (NASDAQ:RSSS) shareholders have enjoyed a 89% share price rise over the last half decade, well in excess of the market return of around 70% (not including dividends).

So let's investigate and see if the longer term performance of the company has been in line with the underlying business' progress.

View our latest analysis for Research Solutions

Given that Research Solutions didn't make a profit in the last twelve months, we'll focus on revenue growth to form a quick view of its business development. Generally speaking, companies without profits are expected to grow revenue every year, and at a good clip. 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.

In the last 5 years Research Solutions saw its revenue grow at 6.3% per year. That's a pretty good long term growth rate. Revenue has been growing at a reasonable clip, so it's debatable whether the share price growth of 14% full reflects the underlying business growth. The key question is whether revenue growth will slow down, and if so, how quickly. Lack of earnings means you have to project further into the future justify the valuation on the basis of future free cash flow.

The company's revenue and earnings (over time) are depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).

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

You can see how its balance sheet has strengthened (or weakened) over time in this free interactive graphic.

A Different Perspective

We regret to report that Research Solutions shareholders are down 27% for the year. Unfortunately, that's worse than the broader market decline of 8.3%. 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. On the bright side, long term shareholders have made money, with a gain of 14% per year over half a decade. If the fundamental data continues to indicate long term sustainable growth, the current sell-off could be an opportunity worth considering. I find it very interesting to look at share price over the long term as a proxy for business performance. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. Take risks, for example - Research Solutions has 3 warning signs we think you should be aware of.

Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of companies we expect will grow earnings.

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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