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If You Had Bought Rigel Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:RIGL) Stock A Year Ago, You'd Be Sitting On A 42% Loss, Today

Simply Wall St

The simplest way to benefit from a rising market is to buy an index fund. When you buy individual stocks, you can make higher profits, but you also face the risk of under-performance. That downside risk was realized by Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:RIGL) shareholders over the last year, as the share price declined 42%. That's disappointing when you consider the market returned 10%. To make matters worse, the returns over three years have also been really disappointing (the share price is 35% lower than three years ago). Furthermore, it's down 30% in about a quarter. That's not much fun for holders.

View our latest analysis for Rigel Pharmaceuticals

Given that Rigel Pharmaceuticals didn't make a profit in the last twelve months, we'll focus on revenue growth to form a quick view of its business development. When a company doesn't make profits, we'd generally expect to see good revenue growth. Some companies are willing to postpone profitability to grow revenue faster, but in that case one does expect good top-line growth.

In the last twelve months, Rigel Pharmaceuticals increased its revenue by 2347%. That's well above most other pre-profit companies. The share price drop of 42% over twelve months would be considered disappointing by many, so you might argue the company is getting little credit for its impressive revenue growth. On the bright side, if this company is moving profits in the right direction, top-line growth like that could be an opportunity. Our monkey brains haven't evolved to think exponentially, so humans do tend to underestimate companies that have exponential growth.

The company's revenue and earnings (over time) are depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).

NasdaqGS:RIGL Income Statement, October 22nd 2019

We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. This free report showing analyst forecasts should help you form a view on Rigel Pharmaceuticals

A Different Perspective

While the broader market gained around 10% in the last year, Rigel Pharmaceuticals shareholders lost 42%. 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. Regrettably, last year's performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 0.9% per year over five years. We realise that Buffett has said investors should 'buy when there is blood on the streets', but we caution that investors should first be sure they are buying a high quality businesses. It is all well and good that insiders have been buying shares, but we suggest you check here to see what price insiders were buying at.

Rigel Pharmaceuticals is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with insider buying.

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.