Intrexon Corporation (NASDAQ:XON) shareholders will doubtless be very grateful to see the share price up 46% in the last quarter. But only the myopic could ignore the astounding decline over three years. In that time the share price has melted like a snowball in the desert, down 77%. So we're relieved for long term holders to see a bit of uplift. The thing to think about is whether the business has really turned around.
Intrexon isn't a profitable company, so it is unlikely we'll see a strong correlation between its share price and its earnings per share (EPS). Arguably revenue is our next best option. Generally speaking, companies without profits are expected to grow revenue every year, and at a good clip. 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.
Over the last three years, Intrexon's revenue dropped 7.7% per year. That is not a good result. The share price fall of 38% (per year, over three years) is a stern reminder that money-losing companies are expected to grow revenue. This business clearly needs to grow revenues if it is to perform as investors hope. Don't let a share price decline ruin your calm. You make better decisions when you're calm.
The graphic below depicts how earnings and revenue have changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).
It's good to see that there was some significant insider buying in the last three months. That's a positive. On the other hand, we think the revenue and earnings trends are much more meaningful measures of the business. So we recommend checking out this free report showing consensus forecasts
A Different Perspective
Intrexon shareholders are down 52% for the year, but the market itself is up 1.7%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Regrettably, last year's performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 19% per year over five years. We realise that Buffett has said investors should 'buy when there is blood on the streets', but we caution that investors should first be sure they are buying a high quality businesses. If you want to research this stock further, the data on insider buying is an obvious place to start. You can click here to see who has been buying shares - and the price they paid.
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.
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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.