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Passive investing in an index fund is a good way to ensure your own returns roughly match the overall market. When you buy individual stocks, you can make higher profits, but you also face the risk of under-performance. For example, the resTORbio, Inc. (NASDAQ:TORC) share price is down 20% in the last year. That contrasts poorly with the market return of 4.0%. resTORbio hasn't been listed for long, so although we're wary of recent listings that perform poorly, it may still prove itself with time. The falls have accelerated recently, with the share price down 10% in the last three months. 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.
resTORbio hasn't yet reported any revenue yet, so it's as much a business idea as an actual business. We can't help wondering why it's publicly listed so early in its journey. Are venture capitalists not interested? So it seems that the investors focused more on what could be, than paying attention to the current revenues (or lack thereof). It seems likely some shareholders believe that resTORbio will significantly advance the business plan before too long.
We think companies that have neither significant revenues nor profits are pretty high risk. You should be aware that there is always a chance that this sort of company will need to issue more shares to raise money to continue pursuing its business plan. 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).
resTORbio has plenty of cash in the bank, with cash in excess of all liabilities sitting at US$138m, when it last reported (March 2019). This gives management the flexibility to drive business growth, without worrying too much about cash reserves. But since the share price has dropped 20% in the last year, it seems like the market might have been over-excited previously. You can see in the image below, how resTORbio'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. Would it bother you if insiders were selling the 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 resTORbio shareholders are down 20% for the year, the market itself is up 4.0%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. With the stock down 10% over the last three months, the market doesn't seem to believe that the company has solved all its problems. Basically, most investors should be wary of buying into a poor-performing stock, unless the business itself has clearly improved. You might want to assess this data-rich visualization of its earnings, revenue and cash flow.
But note: resTORbio may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with past earnings growth (and further growth forecast).
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.