Did Changing Sentiment Drive Ardelyx’s (NASDAQ:ARDX) Share Price Down A Painful 81%?

It is doubtless a positive to see that the Ardelyx, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARDX) share price has gained some 72% in the last three months. But spare a thought for the long term holders, who have held the stock as it bled value over the last five years. Indeed, the share price is down a whopping 81% 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 important question is if the business itself justifies a higher share price in the long term.

We really hope anyone holding through that price crash has a diversified portfolio. Even when you lose money, you don’t have to lose the lesson.

Check out our latest analysis for Ardelyx

We don’t think Ardelyx’s revenue of US$275,000 is enough to establish significant demand. This state of affairs suggests that venture capitalists won’t provide funds on attractive terms. So it seems shareholders are too busy dreaming about the progress to come than dwelling on the current (lack of) revenue. For example, they may be hoping that Ardelyx comes up with a great new product, before it runs out of money.

As a general rule, if a company doesn’t have much revenue, and it loses money, then it is a high risk investment. You should be aware that there is always a chance that this sort of company will need to issue more shares to raise money to continue pursuing its business plan. While some companies like this go on to deliver on their plan, making good money for shareholders, many end in painful losses and eventual de-listing. Ardelyx has already given some investors a taste of the bitter losses that high risk investing can cause.

When it reported in June 2019 Ardelyx had minimal cash in excess of all liabilities consider its expenditure: just US$55m to be specific. So if it hasn’t remedied the situation already, it will almost certainly have to raise more capital soon. With that in mind, you can understand why the share price dropped 28% per year, over 5 years . You can click on the image below to see (in greater detail) how Ardelyx’s cash levels have changed over time. The image below shows how Ardelyx’s balance sheet has changed over time; if you want to see the precise values, simply click on the image.

NasdaqGM:ARDX Historical Debt, October 16th 2019
NasdaqGM:ARDX Historical Debt, October 16th 2019

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. Would it bother you if insiders were selling the stock? I would feel more nervous about the company if that were so. It only takes a moment for you to check whether we have identified any insider sales recently.

A Different Perspective

It’s nice to see that Ardelyx shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 12% over the last year. Notably the five-year annualised TSR loss of 28% per year compares very unfavourably with the recent share price performance. The long term loss makes us cautious, but the short term TSR gain certainly hints at a brighter future. Most investors take the time to check the data on insider transactions. You can click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling.

For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.

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.