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As every investor would know, not every swing hits the sweet spot. But you have a problem if you face massive losses more than once in a while. So spare a thought for the long term shareholders of Athenex, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATNX); the share price is down a whopping 79% in the last three years. That would be a disturbing experience. The more recent news is of little comfort, with the share price down 77% in a year. The falls have accelerated recently, with the share price down 31% in the last three months.
With that in mind, it's worth seeing if the company's underlying fundamentals have been the driver of long term performance, or if there are some discrepancies.
Athenex wasn't profitable in the last twelve months, 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. Shareholders of unprofitable companies usually expect strong revenue growth. That's because fast revenue growth can be easily extrapolated to forecast profits, often of considerable size.
Over three years, Athenex grew revenue at 23% per year. That is faster than most pre-profit companies. So on the face of it we're really surprised to see the share price down 21% a year in the same time period. The share price makes us wonder if there is an issue with profitability. Ultimately, revenue growth doesn't amount to much if the business can't scale well. If the company is low on cash, it may have to raise capital soon.
You can see below how earnings and revenue have changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
It's probably worth noting we've seen significant insider buying in the last quarter, which we consider a positive. That said, we think earnings and revenue growth trends are even more important factors to consider. So we recommend checking out this free report showing consensus forecasts
A Different Perspective
The last twelve months weren't great for Athenex shares, which cost holders 77%, while the market was up about 40%. Of course the long term matters more than the short term, and even great stocks will sometimes have a poor year. Shareholders have lost 21% per year over the last three years, so the share price drop has become steeper, over the last year; a potential symptom of as yet unsolved challenges. Although Baron Rothschild famously said to "buy when there's blood in the streets, even if the blood is your own", he also focusses on high quality stocks with solid prospects. I find it very interesting to look at share price over the long term as a proxy for business performance. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. To that end, you should be aware of the 4 warning signs we've spotted with Athenex .
Athenex is not the only stock that insiders are buying. For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.
This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
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