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Investors in Enzo Biochem (NYSE:ENZ) have unfortunately lost 73% over the last five years

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Some stocks are best avoided. We don't wish catastrophic capital loss on anyone. Spare a thought for those who held Enzo Biochem, Inc. (NYSE:ENZ) for five whole years - as the share price tanked 73%. Shareholders have had an even rougher run lately, with the share price down 27% in the last 90 days.

It's worthwhile assessing if the company's economics have been moving in lockstep with these underwhelming shareholder returns, or if there is some disparity between the two. So let's do just that.

See our latest analysis for Enzo Biochem

While Enzo Biochem made a small profit, in the last year, we think that the market is probably more focussed on the top line growth at the moment. Generally speaking, we'd consider a stock like this alongside loss-making companies, simply because the quantum of the profit is so low. It would be hard to believe in a more profitable future without growing revenues.

Over half a decade Enzo Biochem reduced its trailing twelve month revenue by 0.07% for each year. While far from catastrophic that is not good. If a business loses money, you want it to grow, so no surprises that the share price has dropped 12% each year in that time. It takes a certain kind of mental fortitude (or recklessness) to buy shares in a company that loses money and doesn't grow revenue. That is not really what the successful investors we know aim for.

The company's revenue and earnings (over time) are depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).

earnings-and-revenue-growth
earnings-and-revenue-growth

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. This free interactive report on Enzo Biochem's earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.

A Different Perspective

While the broader market lost about 8.4% in the twelve months, Enzo Biochem shareholders did even worse, losing 17%. 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. However, the loss over the last year isn't as bad as the 12% per annum loss investors have suffered over the last half decade. We'd need to see some sustained improvements in the key metrics before we could muster much enthusiasm. 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. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 3 warning signs with Enzo Biochem (at least 2 which are concerning) , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

Enzo Biochem is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with insider buying.

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

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.