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Volatility 101: Should Athersys (NASDAQ:ATHX) Shares Have Dropped 25%?

Simply Wall St

While it may not be enough for some shareholders, we think it is good to see the Athersys, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATHX) share price up 23% in a single quarter. But that doesn't change the fact that the returns over the last year have been less than pleasing. The cold reality is that the stock has dropped 25% in one year, under-performing the market.

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View our latest analysis for Athersys

Athersys isn't currently profitable, so most analysts would look to revenue growth to get an idea of how fast the underlying business is growing. Shareholders of unprofitable companies usually expect strong revenue growth. That's because fast revenue growth can be easily extrapolated to forecast profits, often of considerable size.

In the last year Athersys saw its revenue grow by 647%. That's a strong result which is better than most other loss making companies. The share price drop of 25% over twelve months would be considered disappointing by many, so you might argue the company is getting little credit for its impressive revenue growth. Prima facie, revenue growth like that should be a good thing, so it's worth checking whether losses have stabilized. Our brains have evolved to think in linear fashion, so there's value in learning to recognize exponential growth. We are, in some ways, simply the wisest of the monkeys.

Depicted in the graphic below, you'll see revenue and earnings over time. If you want more detail, you can click on the chart itself.

NasdaqCM:ATHX Income Statement, May 24th 2019

This free interactive report on Athersys's balance sheet strength is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.

A Different Perspective

Investors in Athersys had a tough year, with a total loss of 25%, against a market gain of about 3.4%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. On the bright side, long term shareholders have made money, with a gain of 0.9% per year over half a decade. If the fundamental data continues to indicate long term sustainable growth, the current sell-off could be an opportunity worth considering. Shareholders might want to examine this detailed historical graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.

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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 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. Thank you for reading.