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Those Who Purchased Astrotech (NASDAQ:ASTC) Shares Five Years Ago Have A 86% Loss To Show For It

Simply Wall St

It is doubtless a positive to see that the Astrotech Corporation (NASDAQ:ASTC) share price has gained some 37% in the last three months. But that doesn't change the fact that the returns over the last half decade have been stomach churning. Like a ship taking on water, the share price has sunk 86% in that time. It's true that the recent bounce could signal the company is turning over a new leaf, but we are not so sure. The fundamental business performance will ultimately determine if the turnaround can be sustained.

While a drop like that is definitely a body blow, money isn't as important as health and happiness.

Check out our latest analysis for Astrotech

We don't think Astrotech's revenue of US$95,000 is enough to establish significant demand. This state of affairs suggests that venture capitalists won't provide funds on attractive terms. So it seems that the investors focused more on what could be, than paying attention to the current revenues (or lack thereof). It seems likely some shareholders believe that Astrotech will significantly advance the business plan before too long.

Companies that lack both meaningful revenue and profits are usually considered high risk. There is usually a significant chance that they will need more money for business development, putting them at the mercy of capital markets. So the share price itself impacts the value of the shares (as it determines the cost of capital). 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). Astrotech has already given some investors a taste of the bitter losses that high risk investing can cause.

Astrotech had liabilities exceeding cash by US$2.2m when it last reported in September 2019, according to our data. That makes it extremely high risk, in our view. But with the share price diving 33% per year, over 5 years , it's probably fair to say that some shareholders no longer believe the company will succeed. You can click on the image below to see (in greater detail) how Astrotech's cash levels have changed over time. You can see in the image below, how Astrotech's cash levels have changed over time (click to see the values).

NasdaqCM:ASTC Historical Debt, January 28th 2020

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. Given that situation, would you be concerned if it turned out insiders were relentlessly selling 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

Astrotech shareholders are down 59% for the year, but the market itself is up 24%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Unfortunately, last year's performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it was worse than the annualised loss of 33% 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 Astrotech better, we need to consider many other factors. Take risks, for example - Astrotech has 7 warning signs (and 3 which can't be ignored) we think you should know about.

We will like Astrotech better if we see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, 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.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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.

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. Thank you for reading.