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Some Hemispherx Biopharma (NYSEMKT:HEB) Shareholders Have Copped A 96% Share Price Wipe Out

Simply Wall St

Long term investing is the way to go, but that doesn't mean you should hold every stock forever. We don't wish catastrophic capital loss on anyone. For example, we sympathize with anyone who was caught holding Hemispherx Biopharma, Inc. (NYSEMKT:HEB) during the five years that saw its share price drop a whopping 96%. And some of the more recent buyers are probably worried, too, with the stock falling 59% in the last year. Shareholders have had an even rougher run lately, with the share price down 28% in the last 90 days. 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 Hemispherx Biopharma

Hemispherx Biopharma recorded just US$367,000 in revenue over the last twelve months, which isn't really enough for us to consider it to have a proven product. You have to wonder why venture capitalists aren't funding it. So it seems that the investors more focused on would could be, than paying attention to the current revenues (or lack thereof). It seems likely some shareholders believe that Hemispherx Biopharma has the funding to invent a new product before too long.

Companies that lack both meaningful revenue and profits are usually considered 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 such companies go on to make revenue, profits, and generate value, others get hyped up by hopeful naifs before eventually going bankrupt. It certainly is a dangerous place to invest, as Hemispherx Biopharma investors might realise.

Our data indicates that Hemispherx Biopharma had net debt of US$6,846,000 when it last reported in December 2018. That makes it extremely high risk, in our view. But since the share price has dived -47% per year, over 5 years, it looks like some investors think it's time to abandon ship, so to speak. The image below shows how Hemispherx Biopharma's balance sheet has changed over time; if you want to see the precise values, simply click on the image.

AMEX:HEB Historical Debt, April 13th 2019

In reality it's hard to have much certainty when valuing a business that has neither revenue or profit. Would it bother you if insiders were selling the stock? It would bother me, that's for sure. It only takes a moment for you to check whether we have identified any insider sales recently.

A Different Perspective

Hemispherx Biopharma shareholders are down 59% for the year, but the market itself is up 9.9%. 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 47% per year over five years. Generally speaking long term share price weakness can be a bad sign, though contrarian investors might want to research the stock in hope of a turnaround. 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 Hemispherx Biopharma by clicking this link.

Hemispherx Biopharma 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.

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.