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It's easy to match the overall market return by buying an index fund. When you buy individual stocks, you can make higher profits, but you also face the risk of under-performance. Investors in Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals, Ltd. (NASDAQ:KNSA) have tasted that bitter downside in the last year, as the share price dropped 23%. That falls noticeably short of the market return of around 2.7%. We wouldn't rush to judgement on Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals because we don't have a long term history to look at. The falls have accelerated recently, with the share price down 19% in the last three months.
Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals hasn't yet reported any revenue yet, so it's as much a business idea as an actual business. This state of affairs suggests that venture capitalists won't provide funds on attractive terms. So it seems shareholders are too busy dreaming about the progress to come than dwelling on the current (lack of) revenue. It seems likely some shareholders believe that Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals has the funding to invent a new product before too long.
We think companies that have neither significant revenues nor profits are pretty high risk. There is almost always a chance they will need to raise more capital, and their progress - and share price - will dictate how dilutive that is to current holders. 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).
When it last reported its balance sheet in March 2019, Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals had cash in excess of all liabilities of US$287m. That's not too bad but management may have to think about raising capital or taking on debt, unless the company is close to breaking even. With the share price down 23% in the last year, it seems likely that the need for cash is weighing on investors' minds. You can see in the image below, how Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals's cash levels have changed over time (click to see the values).
It can be extremely risky to invest in a company that doesn't even have revenue. There's no way to know its value easily. Would it bother you if insiders were selling the stock? I'd like that just about as much as I like to drink milk and fruit juice mixed together. It only takes a moment for you to check whether we have identified any insider sales recently.
A Different Perspective
Given that the market gained 2.7% in the last year, Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals shareholders might be miffed that they lost 23%. While the aim is to do better than that, it's worth recalling that even great long-term investments sometimes underperform for a year or more. With the stock down 19% 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.
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.
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 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.