Long term investing works well, but it doesn't always work for each individual stock. We really hate to see fellow investors lose their hard-earned money. Spare a thought for those who held Celsion Corporation (NASDAQ:CLSN) for five whole years - as the share price tanked 96%. We also note that the stock has performed poorly over the last year, with the share price down 34%. Even worse, it's down 17% in about a month, which isn't fun at all.
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.
With just US$500,000 worth of revenue in twelve months, we don't think the market considers Celsion to have proven its business plan. We can't help wondering why it's publicly listed so early in its journey. Are venture capitalists not interested? So it seems shareholders are too busy dreaming about the progress to come than dwelling on the current (lack of) revenue. For example, they may be hoping that Celsion comes up with a great new product, before it runs out of money.
We think companies that have neither significant revenues nor profits are pretty high risk. There is almost always a chance they will need to raise more capital, and their progress - and share price - will dictate how dilutive that is to current holders. While some companies like this go on to deliver on their plan, making good money for shareholders, many end in painful losses and eventual de-listing. It certainly is a dangerous place to invest, as Celsion investors might realise.
Celsion had liabilities exceeding cash by US$3.0m when it last reported in June 2019, according to our data. That makes it extremely high risk, in our view. But with the share price diving 47% per year, over 5 years , it's probably fair to say that some shareholders no longer believe the company will succeed. You can see in the image below, how Celsion's cash levels have changed over time (click to see the values). You can click on the image below to see (in greater detail) how Celsion's cash levels have changed over time.
In reality it's hard to have much certainty when valuing a business that has neither revenue or profit. Given that situation, would you be concerned if it turned out insiders were relentlessly selling stock? It would bother me, that's for sure. You can click here to see if there are insiders selling.
A Different Perspective
While the broader market gained around 13% in the last year, Celsion shareholders lost 34%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Unfortunately, longer term shareholders are suffering worse, given the loss of 47% doled out over the last five years. We'd need to see some sustained improvements in the key metrics before we could muster much enthusiasm. 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 Celsion by clicking this link.
Celsion 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.
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If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.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.