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Easy Come, Easy Go: How Cipher Pharmaceuticals (TSE:CPH) Shareholders Got Unlucky And Saw 88% Of Their Cash Evaporate

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Simply Wall St
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We're definitely into long term investing, but some companies are simply bad investments over any time frame. We really hate to see fellow investors lose their hard-earned money. For example, we sympathize with anyone who was caught holding Cipher Pharmaceuticals Inc. (TSE:CPH) during the five years that saw its share price drop a whopping 88%. We also note that the stock has performed poorly over the last year, with the share price down 61%. Unfortunately the share price momentum is still quite negative, with prices down 13% in thirty days.

We really hope anyone holding through that price crash has a diversified portfolio. Even when you lose money, you don't have to lose the lesson.

Check out our latest analysis for Cipher Pharmaceuticals

While the efficient markets hypothesis continues to be taught by some, it has been proven that markets are over-reactive dynamic systems, and investors are not always rational. One flawed but reasonable way to assess how sentiment around a company has changed is to compare the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price.

During the five years over which the share price declined, Cipher Pharmaceuticals's earnings per share (EPS) dropped by 36% each year. This change in EPS is remarkably close to the 35% average annual decrease in the share price. That suggests that the market sentiment around the company hasn't changed much over that time. Rather, the share price has approximately tracked EPS growth.

The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).

TSX:CPH Past and Future Earnings, August 5th 2019
TSX:CPH Past and Future Earnings, August 5th 2019

We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here..

A Different Perspective

We regret to report that Cipher Pharmaceuticals shareholders are down 61% for the year. Unfortunately, that's worse than the broader market decline of 0.3%. 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. Unfortunately, last year's performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it was worse than the annualised loss of 35% 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 Cipher Pharmaceuticals by clicking this link.

There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. You probably do not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.

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

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.

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. Thank you for reading.