Volatility 101: Should Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:KNSA) Shares Have Dropped 23%?

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It’s easy to match the overall market return by buying an index fund. But if you buy individual stocks, you can do both better or worse than that. Unfortunately the Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals, Ltd. (NASDAQ:KNSA) share price slid 23% over twelve months. That falls noticeably short of the market return of around 2.7%. Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals hasn’t been listed for long, so although we’re wary of recent listings that perform poorly, it may still prove itself with time. The falls have accelerated recently, with the share price down 19% in the last three months.

View our latest analysis for Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals

Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals hasn’t yet reported any revenue yet, so it’s as much a business idea as an actual business. You have to wonder why venture capitalists aren’t funding it. 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 Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals comes up with a great new treatment, 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. There is almost always a chance they will need to raise more capital, and their progress – and share price – will dictate how dilutive that is to current holders. While some such companies go on to make revenue, profits, and generate value, others get hyped up by hopeful naifs before eventually going bankrupt.

Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals had cash in excess of all liabilities of US$287m when it last reported (March 2019). While that’s nothing to panic about, there is some possibility the company will raise more capital, especially if profits are not imminent. We’d venture that shareholders are concerned about the need for more capital, because the share price has dropped 23% in the last year. The image below shows how Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals’s balance sheet has changed over time; if you want to see the precise values, simply click on the image.

NasdaqGS:KNSA Historical Debt, June 10th 2019
NasdaqGS:KNSA Historical Debt, June 10th 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’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

Given that the market gained 2.7% in the last year, Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals shareholders might be miffed that they lost 23%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. With the stock down 19% over the last three months, the market doesn’t seem to believe that the company has solved all its problems. Given the relatively short history of this stock, we’d remain pretty wary until we see some strong business performance. You could get a better understanding of Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals’s growth by checking out this more detailed historical graph of earnings, revenue and cash flow.

If you would prefer to check out another company — one with potentially superior financials — then do not miss this free list of companies that have proven they can grow earnings.

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.