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If You Had Bought MediciNova (NASDAQ:MNOV) Stock Five Years Ago, You Could Pocket A 536% Gain Today

Simply Wall St

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Buying shares in the best businesses can build meaningful wealth for you and your family. And we've seen some truly amazing gains over the years. Just think about the savvy investors who held MediciNova, Inc. (NASDAQ:MNOV) shares for the last five years, while they gained 536%. If that doesn't get you thinking about long term investing, we don't know what will. On top of that, the share price is up 46% in about a quarter. The company reported its financial results recently; you can catch up on the latest numbers by reading our company report.

We love happy stories like this one. The company should be really proud of that performance!

Check out our latest analysis for MediciNova

MediciNova hasn't yet reported any revenue yet, so it's as much a business idea as an actual business. As a result, we think it's unlikely shareholders are paying much attention to current revenue, but rather speculating on growth in the years to come. It seems likely some shareholders believe that MediciNova has the funding to invent a new product before too long.

As a general rule, if a company doesn't have much revenue, and it loses money, then it is a high risk investment. You should be aware that there is always a chance that this sort of company will need to issue more shares to raise money to continue pursuing its business plan. 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. MediciNova has already given some investors a taste of the sweet gains that high risk investing can generate, if your timing is right.

When it last reported its balance sheet in March 2019, MediciNova could boast a strong position, with net cash of US$60m. That allows management to focus on growing the business, and not worry too much about raising capital. And with the share price up 45% per year, over 5 years, the market is focussed on that blue sky potential. You can see in the image below, how MediciNova's cash levels have changed over time (click to see the values).

NasdaqGM:MNOV Historical Debt, May 8th 2019

It can be extremely risky to invest in a company that doesn't even have revenue. There's no way to know its value easily. However you can take a look at whether insiders have been buying up shares. It's often positive if so, assuming the buying is sustained and meaningful. Luckily we are in a position to provide you with this free chart of insider buying (and selling).

A Different Perspective

It's nice to see that MediciNova shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 15% over the last year. Having said that, the five-year TSR of 45% a year, is even better. The pessimistic view would be that be that the stock has its best days behind it, but on the other hand the price might simply be moderating while the business itself continues to execute. You could get a better understanding of MediciNova's growth by checking out this more detailed historical graph of earnings, revenue and cash flow.

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.

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.