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Hero to Xero? The Xero (ASX:XRO) share price is now down 36% in 2022

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We all know that 2022 hasn’t been the kindest year to ASX shares thus far. Even after today’s robust gains on the market, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) remains down 5.8% year to date. However, that’s nothing compared to the Xero Limited (ASX: XRO) share price.

Xero shares have certainly not been a market beater in 2022. In fact, while the ASX 200 has lost 5.8% this year, the Xero share price has plunged by a rather astounding 35.99% over 2022 so far. It’s also down 17.24% over the past 12 months.

Xero share price cops a beating

Now, investors may have gotten used to Xero giving back astronomical returns. After all, this is a company that, despite its recent woes, remains up more than 425% over the past 5 years. So what’s changed for Xero?

Well, unfortunately, it’s not exactly clear. We haven’t gotten much news out of the company in 2022. Xero hasn’t even reported any earnings this year.

But what we do know is that Xero is a pre-profit growth share that, prior to this year, had enjoyed some astounding gains. And this company is not the only one of those that has copped a belting this year. 2022 has seen tech shares of all stripes suffer immense losses.

Take Zip Co Ltd (ASX: Z1P). It’s down a far-nastier 64.1% year to date. Before Afterpay was swallowed by Block Inc (ASX: SQ2), it had also had a rough trot. And Block shares have been under the weather as well, losing more than 20% since their ASX debut.

In fact, the entire S&P/ASX All Technology Index (ASX: XTX) remains down more than 23% year to date.

So it’s possible that Xero has just been caught up in a general market distaste for growth and tech companies that has been one of the defining themes of ASX investing so far this year.

But now that Xero is down by a notable 36% or so in 2022, and down an even more significant 40% from the all-time highs we saw late last year, many investors might be wondering if it could be time to buy Xero shares.

Could it be time to buy?

Well, there are more than a few brokers who think it could be. Goldman SachsCitiand Morgan Stanley have all rated Xero as a buy in the past month. As have analysts atSage Capital and even here at The Motley Fool (be sure to check out why Fool analyst Ryan Newman likes Xero).

So there are a lot of fans of this cloud-based accounting software provider at the moment.

At the current Xero share price, this ASX 200 tech share has a market capitalisation of $13.95 billion.

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