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The past year for OncoCyte (NASDAQ:OCX) investors has not been profitable

Even the best investor on earth makes unsuccessful investments. But serious investors should think long and hard about avoiding extreme losses. So spare a thought for the long term shareholders of OncoCyte Corporation (NASDAQ:OCX); the share price is down a whopping 84% in the last twelve months. A loss like this is a stark reminder that portfolio diversification is important. We note that it has not been easy for shareholders over three years, either; the share price is down 50% in that time. Shareholders have had an even rougher run lately, with the share price down 28% in the last 90 days. While a drop like that is definitely a body blow, money isn't as important as health and happiness.

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.

Check out our latest analysis for OncoCyte

Because OncoCyte made a loss in the last twelve months, we think the market is probably more focussed on revenue and revenue growth, at least for now. Shareholders of unprofitable companies usually expect strong revenue growth. That's because it's hard to be confident a company will be sustainable if revenue growth is negligible, and it never makes a profit.

In the last twelve months, OncoCyte increased its revenue by 245%. That's a strong result which is better than most other loss making companies. So the hefty 84% share price crash makes us think the company has somehow offended market participants. Something weird is definitely impacting the stock price; we'd venture the company has destroyed value somehow. What is clear is that the market is not judging the company on its revenue growth right now. Of course, markets do over-react so share price drop may be too harsh.

The image below shows how earnings and revenue have tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).

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

We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Even so, future earnings will be far more important to whether current shareholders make money. So we recommend checking out this free report showing consensus forecasts

A Different Perspective

While the broader market lost about 11% in the twelve months, OncoCyte shareholders did even worse, losing 84%. Having said that, it's inevitable that some stocks will be oversold in a falling market. The key is to keep your eyes on the fundamental developments. Unfortunately, last year's performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it was worse than the annualised loss of 13% over the last half decade. Generally speaking long term share price weakness can be a bad sign, though contrarian investors might want to research the stock in hope of a turnaround. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand OncoCyte better, we need to consider many other factors. Case in point: We've spotted 3 warning signs for OncoCyte you should be aware of, and 1 of them makes us a bit uncomfortable.

If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).

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.

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