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Investors in Reata Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:RETA) from a year ago are still down 73%, even after 11% gain this past week

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Reata Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:RETA) shareholders should be happy to see the share price up 12% in the last month. But that doesn't change the fact that the returns over the last year have been stomach churning. To wit, the stock has dropped 73% over the last year. It's not uncommon to see a bounce after a drop like that. The important thing is whether the company can turn it around, longer term.

On a more encouraging note the company has added US$102m to its market cap in just the last 7 days, so let's see if we can determine what's driven the one-year loss for shareholders.

See our latest analysis for Reata Pharmaceuticals

Reata Pharmaceuticals 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. Generally speaking, companies without profits are expected to grow revenue every year, and at a good clip. As you can imagine, fast revenue growth, when maintained, often leads to fast profit growth.

Reata Pharmaceuticals grew its revenue by 62% over the last year. That's a strong result which is better than most other loss making companies. So on the face of it we're really surprised to see the share price down 73% over twelve months. There's clearly something unusual going on here such as an acquisition that hasn't delivered expected profits. We'd recommend taking a very close look at the stock (and any available forecasts), before considering a purchase, because the share price is not correlated with the revenue growth, that's for sure. Of course, investors do over-react when they are stressed out, so the sell-off could be unjustifiably severe.

The graphic below depicts how earnings and revenue have changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).

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

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. If you are thinking of buying or selling Reata Pharmaceuticals stock, you should check out this free report showing analyst profit forecasts.

A Different Perspective

Reata Pharmaceuticals shareholders are down 73% for the year, but the market itself is up 9.5%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 5%, each year, over five years. It could be that the recent sell-off is an opportunity, so it may be worth checking the fundamental data for signs of a long term growth trend. 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. To that end, you should be aware of the 2 warning signs we've spotted with Reata Pharmaceuticals .

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.

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.