Some stocks are best avoided. We don't wish catastrophic capital loss on anyone. For example, we sympathize with anyone who was caught holding Cancer Genetics, Inc. (NASDAQ:CGIX) during the five years that saw its share price drop a whopping 98%. And we doubt long term believers are the only worried holders, since the stock price has declined 82% over the last twelve months. Even worse, it's down 33% in about a month, which isn't fun at all.
We really feel for shareholders in this scenario. It's a good reminder of the importance of diversification, and it's worth keeping in mind there's more to life than money, anyway.
Given that Cancer Genetics 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. As you can imagine, fast revenue growth, when maintained, often leads to fast profit growth.
Over five years, Cancer Genetics grew its revenue at 17% per year. That's better than most loss-making companies. So on the face of it we're really surprised to see the share price has averaged a fall of 56% each year, in the same time period. You'd have to assume the market is worried that profits won't come soon enough. We'd recommend carefully checking for indications of future growth - and balance sheet threats - before considering a purchase.
The company's revenue and earnings (over time) are depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Even so, future earnings will be far more important to whether current shareholders make money. Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here..
A Different Perspective
While the broader market gained around 16% in the last year, Cancer Genetics shareholders lost 82%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Unfortunately, last year's performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it was worse than the annualised loss of 56% over the last half decade. 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. 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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.