Volatility 101: Should Pharmaxis (ASX:PXS) Shares Have Dropped 46%?

In order to justify the effort of selecting individual stocks, it’s worth striving to beat the returns from a market index fund. But in any portfolio, there are likely to be some stocks that fall short of that benchmark. Unfortunately, that’s been the case for longer term Pharmaxis Ltd (ASX:PXS) shareholders, since the share price is down 46% in the last three years, falling well short of the market return of around 36%. The more recent news is of little comfort, with the share price down 46% in a year. The last week also saw the share price slip down another 44%.

View 4 warning signs we detected for Pharmaxis

Given that Pharmaxis didn’t make a profit in the last twelve months, we’ll focus on revenue growth to form a quick view of its business development. Generally speaking, companies without profits are expected to grow revenue every year, and at a good clip. Some companies are willing to postpone profitability to grow revenue faster, but in that case one does expect good top-line growth.

In the last three years, Pharmaxis saw its revenue grow by 7.0% per year, compound. Given it’s losing money in pursuit of growth, we are not really impressed with that. The stock dropped 19% during that time. If revenue growth accelerates, we might see the share price bounce. But ultimately the key will be whether the company can become profitability.

The image below shows how earnings and revenue have tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).

ASX:PXS Income Statement, December 25th 2019
ASX:PXS Income Statement, December 25th 2019

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

A Different Perspective

Pharmaxis shareholders are down 46% for the year, but the market itself is up 28%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Unfortunately, last year’s performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it was worse than the annualised loss of 1.3% over the last half decade. Generally speaking long term share price weakness can be a bad sign, though contrarian investors might want to research the stock in hope of a turnaround. 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. For example, we’ve discovered 4 warning signs for Pharmaxis which any shareholder or potential investor should be aware of.

We will like Pharmaxis 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 AU exchanges.

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.

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. Thank you for reading.