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Shield Therapeutics plc (LON:STX) shareholders are doubtless heartened to see the share price bounce 32% in just one week. But spare a thought for the long term holders, who have held the stock as it bled value over the last five years. Five years have seen the share price descend precipitously, down a full 79%. It's true that the recent bounce could signal the company is turning over a new leaf, but we are not so sure. The million dollar question is whether the company can justify a long term recovery.
On a more encouraging note the company has added UK£19m to its market cap in just the last 7 days, so let's see if we can determine what's driven the five-year loss for shareholders.
Shield Therapeutics isn't currently profitable, so most analysts would look to revenue growth to get an idea of how fast the underlying business is growing. When a company doesn't make profits, we'd generally expect to see good revenue growth. Some companies are willing to postpone profitability to grow revenue faster, but in that case one does expect good top-line growth.
Over five years, Shield Therapeutics grew its revenue at 39% per year. That's well above most other pre-profit companies. So on the face of it we're really surprised to see the share price has averaged a fall of 12% each year, in the same time period. You'd have to assume the market is worried that profits won't come soon enough. While there might be an opportunity here, you'd want to take a close look at the balance sheet strength.
The graphic below depicts how earnings and revenue have changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).
We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. This free report showing analyst forecasts should help you form a view on Shield Therapeutics
A Different Perspective
Investors in Shield Therapeutics had a tough year, with a total loss of 35%, against a market gain of about 16%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Regrettably, last year's performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 12% per year over five years. We realise that Baron Rothschild has said investors should "buy when there is blood on the streets", but we caution that investors should first be sure they are buying a high quality business. I find it very interesting to look at share price over the long term as a proxy for business performance. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. Even so, be aware that Shield Therapeutics is showing 2 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 1 of those is a bit concerning...
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 GB exchanges.
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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.