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The art and science of stock market investing requires a tolerance for losing money on some of the shares you buy. But it would be foolish to simply accept every extremely large loss as an inevitable part of the game. It must have been painful to be a Frequency Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:FREQ) shareholder over the last year, since the stock price plummeted 81% in that time. While some investors are willing to stomach this sort of loss, they are usually professionals who spread their bets thinly. We wouldn't rush to judgement on Frequency Therapeutics because we don't have a long term history to look at. Furthermore, it's down 31% in about a quarter. That's not much fun for holders. We note that the company has reported results fairly recently; and the market is hardly delighted. You can check out the latest numbers in our company report. 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.
Since shareholders are down over the longer term, lets look at the underlying fundamentals over the that time and see if they've been consistent with returns.
Frequency Therapeutics isn't currently profitable, so most analysts would look to revenue growth to get an idea of how fast the underlying business is growing. Shareholders of unprofitable companies usually expect strong revenue growth. As you can imagine, fast revenue growth, when maintained, often leads to fast profit growth.
In just one year Frequency Therapeutics saw its revenue fall by 24%. That's not what investors generally want to see. The market obviously agrees, since the share price tanked 81%. That's a stern reminder that profitless companies need to grow the top line, at the very least. But markets do over-react, so there opportunity for investors who are willing to take the time to dig deeper and understand the business.
The graphic below depicts how earnings and revenue have changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).
This free interactive report on Frequency Therapeutics' balance sheet strength is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.
A Different Perspective
Given that the market gained 25% in the last year, Frequency Therapeutics shareholders might be miffed that they lost 81%. While the aim is to do better than that, it's worth recalling that even great long-term investments sometimes underperform for a year or more. With the stock down 31% over the last three months, the market doesn't seem to believe that the company has solved all its problems. Basically, most investors should be wary of buying into a poor-performing stock, unless the business itself has clearly improved. 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. Even so, be aware that Frequency Therapeutics is showing 4 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 1 of those shouldn't be ignored...
If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.
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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