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Easy Come, Easy Go: How Akorn (NASDAQ:AKRX) Shareholders Got Unlucky And Saw 90% Of Their Cash Evaporate

Simply Wall St

Akorn, Inc. (NASDAQ:AKRX) shareholders will doubtless be very grateful to see the share price up 33% in the last quarter. But that doesn't change the fact that the returns over the last half decade have been stomach churning. Indeed, the share price is down a whopping 90% in that time. While the recent increase might be a green shoot, we're certainly hesitant to rejoice. The important question is if the business itself justifies a higher share price in the long term.

We really feel for shareholders in this scenario. It's a good reminder of the importance of diversification, and it's worth keeping in mind there's more to life than money, anyway.

See our latest analysis for Akorn

Akorn isn't a profitable company, so it is unlikely we'll see a strong correlation between its share price and its earnings per share (EPS). Arguably revenue is our next best option. When a company doesn't make profits, we'd generally expect to see good revenue growth. 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 five years Akorn saw its revenue shrink by 1.1% per year. While far from catastrophic that is not good. The share price fall of 37% (per year, over five years) is a stern reminder that money-losing companies are expected to grow revenue. We're generally averse to companies with declining revenues, but we're not alone in that. Fear of becoming a 'bagholder' may be keeping people away from this stock.

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

NasdaqGS:AKRX Income Statement, December 2nd 2019

We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. 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 Akorn

A Different Perspective

While the broader market gained around 11% in the last year, Akorn shareholders lost 44%. 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. Unfortunately, last year's performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it was worse than the annualised loss of 37% over the last half decade. 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. Investors who like to make money usually check up on insider purchases, such as the price paid, and total amount bought. You can find out about the insider purchases of Akorn by clicking this link.

Akorn 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.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Thank you for reading.