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Las Vegas Sands (NYSE:LVS) shareholders are up 18% this past week, but still in the red over the last three years

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Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE:LVS) shareholders should be happy to see the share price up 21% in the last month. But that doesn't help the fact that the three year return is less impressive. After all, the share price is down 25% in the last three years, significantly under-performing the market.

While the stock has risen 18% in the past week but long term shareholders are still in the red, let's see what the fundamentals can tell us.

View our latest analysis for Las Vegas Sands

Given that Las Vegas Sands 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.

Over the last three years, Las Vegas Sands' revenue dropped 44% per year. That's definitely a weaker result than most pre-profit companies report. With revenue in decline, the share price decline of 8% per year is hardly undeserved. It would probably be worth asking whether the company can fund itself to profitability. The company will need to return to revenue growth as quickly as possible, if it wants to see some enthusiasm from investors.

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

It's probably worth noting that the CEO is paid less than the median at similar sized companies. It's always worth keeping an eye on CEO pay, but a more important question is whether the company will grow earnings throughout the years. So we recommend checking out this free report showing consensus forecasts

What about the Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?

We've already covered Las Vegas Sands' share price action, but we should also mention its total shareholder return (TSR). Arguably the TSR is a more complete return calculation because it accounts for the value of dividends (as if they were reinvested), along with the hypothetical value of any discounted capital that have been offered to shareholders. Its history of dividend payouts mean that Las Vegas Sands' TSR, which was a 20% drop over the last 3 years, was not as bad as the share price return.

A Different Perspective

While the broader market gained around 15% in the last year, Las Vegas Sands shareholders lost 20%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Regrettably, last year's performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 1.7% per year over five years. Generally speaking long term share price weakness can be a bad sign, though contrarian investors might want to research the stock in hope of a turnaround. 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. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 1 warning sign with Las Vegas Sands , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

If you would prefer to check out another company -- one with potentially superior financials -- then do not miss this free list of companies that have proven they can 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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