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If You Had Bought Selecta Biosciences' (NASDAQ:SELB) Shares Three Years Ago You Would Be Down 86%

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Every investor on earth makes bad calls sometimes. But really big losses can really drag down an overall portfolio. So take a moment to sympathize with the long term shareholders of Selecta Biosciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:SELB), who have seen the share price tank a massive 86% over a three year period. That would be a disturbing experience. The falls have accelerated recently, with the share price down 30% in the last three months. This could be related to the recent financial results - you can catch up on the most recent data by reading our company report.

While a drop like that is definitely a body blow, money isn't as important as health and happiness.

View our latest analysis for Selecta Biosciences

Given that Selecta Biosciences 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. Generally speaking, companies without profits are expected to grow revenue every year, and at a good clip. That's because fast revenue growth can be easily extrapolated to forecast profits, often of considerable size.

In the last three years, Selecta Biosciences saw its revenue grow by 58% per year, compound. That is faster than most pre-profit companies. So why has the share priced crashed 23% per year, in the same time? You'd want to take a close look at the balance sheet, as well as the losses. Ultimately, revenue growth doesn't amount to much if the business can't scale well. Unless the balance sheet is strong, the company might have to raise capital.

The graphic below depicts how earnings and revenue have changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).

earnings-and-revenue-growth
earnings-and-revenue-growth

Take a more thorough look at Selecta Biosciences' financial health with this free report on its balance sheet.

A Different Perspective

Pleasingly, Selecta Biosciences' total shareholder return last year was 44%. What is absolutely clear is that is far preferable to the dismal 23% average annual loss suffered over the last three years. The optimist would say this is evidence that the stock has bottomed, and better days lie ahead. 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. Take risks, for example - Selecta Biosciences has 3 warning signs (and 1 which is potentially serious) we think you should know about.

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. 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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team@simplywallst.com.