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Those who invested in Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ALNY) five years ago are up 63%

It hasn't been the best quarter for Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ALNY) shareholders, since the share price has fallen 22% in that time. But at least the stock is up over the last five years. However we are not very impressed because the share price is only up 63%, less than the market return of 94%.

So let's investigate and see if the longer term performance of the company has been in line with the underlying business' progress.

Check out our latest analysis for Alnylam Pharmaceuticals

Alnylam Pharmaceuticals 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 desire 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.

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For the last half decade, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals can boast revenue growth at a rate of 45% per year. That's well above most pre-profit companies. It's nice to see shareholders have made a profit, but the gain of 10% over the period isn't that impressive compared to the overall market. That's surprising given the strong revenue growth. Arguably this falls in a potential sweet spot - modest share price gains but good top line growth over the long term justifies investigation, in our book.

The graphic below depicts how earnings and revenue have changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).

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

It's probably worth noting that the CEO is paid less than the median at similar sized companies. It's always worth keeping an eye on CEO pay, but a more important question is whether the company will grow earnings throughout the years. You can see what analysts are predicting for Alnylam Pharmaceuticals in this interactive graph of future profit estimates.

A Different Perspective

While the broader market gained around 30% in the last year, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals shareholders lost 23%. Even the share prices of good stocks drop sometimes, but we want to see improvements in the fundamental metrics of a business, before getting too interested. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 10%, each year, over five years. It could be that the recent sell-off is an opportunity, so it may be worth checking the fundamental data for signs of a long term growth trend. While it is well worth considering the different impacts that market conditions can have on the share price, there are other factors that are even more important. Take risks, for example - Alnylam Pharmaceuticals has 2 warning signs (and 1 which can't be ignored) we think you should know about.

We will like Alnylam Pharmaceuticals 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 American 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.