Passive investing in an index fund is a good way to ensure your own returns roughly match the overall market. Active investors aim to buy stocks that vastly outperform the market - but in the process, they risk under-performance. Unfortunately the Cerus Corporation (NASDAQ:CERS) share price slid 26% over twelve months. That's disappointing when you consider the market returned -11%. On the other hand, the stock is actually up 17% over three years. Unfortunately the share price momentum is still quite negative, with prices down 11% in thirty days. But this could be related to poor market conditions -- stocks are down 15% in the same time.
Given that Cerus 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. Shareholders of unprofitable companies usually expect strong revenue growth. That's because it's hard to be confident a company will be sustainable if revenue growth is negligible, and it never makes a profit.
Cerus grew its revenue by 23% over the last year. We think that is pretty nice growth. Unfortunately that wasn't good enough to stop the share price dropping 26%. This implies the market was expecting better growth. However, that's in the past now, and it's the future that matters most.
The image below shows how earnings and revenue have tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
It's probably worth noting we've seen significant insider buying in the last quarter, which we consider a positive. On the other hand, we think the revenue and earnings trends are much more meaningful measures of the business. So it makes a lot of sense to check out what analysts think Cerus will earn in the future (free profit forecasts).
A Different Perspective
While the broader market lost about 11% in the twelve months, Cerus shareholders did even worse, losing 26%. However, it could simply be that the share price has been impacted by broader market jitters. It might be worth keeping an eye on the fundamentals, in case there's a good opportunity. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 3.4%, each year, over five years. If the fundamental data continues to indicate long term sustainable growth, the current sell-off could be an opportunity worth considering. While it is well worth considering the different impacts that market conditions can have on the share price, there are other factors that are even more important. Take risks, for example - Cerus has 3 warning signs we think you should be aware of.
There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. You probably do not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.
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.
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