It's easy to match the overall market return by buying an index fund. While individual stocks can be big winners, plenty more fail to generate satisfactory returns. Investors in Co-Diagnostics, Inc. (NASDAQ:CODX) have tasted that bitter downside in the last year, as the share price dropped 47%. That's disappointing when you consider the market returned 4.8%. We wouldn't rush to judgement on Co-Diagnostics because we don't have a long term history to look at. Shareholders have had an even rougher run lately, with the share price down 25% in the last 90 days. We note that the company has reported results fairly recently; and the market is hardly delighted. You can check out the latest numbers in our company report.
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With just US$33,615 worth of revenue in twelve months, we don't think the market considers Co-Diagnostics 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? 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. Investors will be hoping that Co-Diagnostics can make progress and gain better traction for the business, before it runs low on cash.
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 do very well over the long term, others become hyped up by promoters before eventually falling back down to earth, and going bankrupt (or being recapitalized).
When it last reported its balance sheet in March 2019, Co-Diagnostics had net cash of US$4.9m. While that's nothing to panic about, there is some possibility the company will raise more capital, especially if profits are not imminent. We'd venture that shareholders are concerned about the need for more capital, because the share price has dropped 47% in the last year. You can see in the image below, how Co-Diagnostics's cash levels have changed over time (click to see the values).
Of course, the truth is that it is hard to value companies without much revenue or profit. Given that situation, would you be concerned if it turned out insiders were relentlessly selling stock? I would feel more nervous about the company if that were so. You can click here to see if there are insiders selling.
A Different Perspective
While Co-Diagnostics shareholders are down 47% for the year, the market itself is up 4.8%. While the aim is to do better than that, it's worth recalling that even great long-term investments sometimes underperform for a year or more. The share price decline has continued throughout the most recent three months, down 25%, suggesting an absence of enthusiasm from investors. Basically, most investors should be wary of buying into a poor-performing stock, unless the business itself has clearly improved. Shareholders might want to examine this detailed historical graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.
Of course Co-Diagnostics may not be the best stock to buy. So you may wish to see this free collection of growth stocks.
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 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.