Imagine Owning Benitec Biopharma (ASX:BLT) And Trying To Stomach The 90% Share Price Drop

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We’re definitely into long term investing, but some companies are simply bad investments over any time frame. We don’t wish catastrophic capital loss on anyone. Spare a thought for those who held Benitec Biopharma Limited (ASX:BLT) for five whole years – as the share price tanked 90%. And it’s not just long term holders hurting, because the stock is down 21% in the last year.

While a drop like that is definitely a body blow, money isn’t as important as health and happiness.

See our latest analysis for Benitec Biopharma

To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it’s a weighing machine. One imperfect but simple way to consider how the market perception of a company has shifted is to compare the change in the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price movement.

Benitec Biopharma became profitable within the last five years. Most would consider that to be a good thing, so it’s counter-intuitive to see the share price declining. Other metrics may better explain the share price move.

Revenue is actually up 38% over the time period. A more detailed examination of the revenue and earnings may or may not explain why the share price languishes; there could be an opportunity.

The chart below shows how revenue and earnings have changed with time, (if you click on the chart you can see the actual values).

ASX:BLT Income Statement, May 15th 2019
ASX:BLT Income Statement, May 15th 2019

We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Even so, future earnings will be far more important to whether current shareholders make money. Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here..

A Different Perspective

Benitec Biopharma shareholders are down 21% for the year, but the market itself is up 5.6%. 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. Unfortunately, longer term shareholders are suffering worse, given the loss of 36% doled out over the last five years. We would want clear information suggesting the company will grow, before taking the view that the share price will stabilize. If you want to research this stock further, the data on insider buying is an obvious place to start. You can click here to see who has been buying shares – and the price they paid.

If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on AU 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.