Investors Who Bought Factor Therapeutics (ASX:FTT) Shares Five Years Ago Are Now Down 99%

It is a pleasure to report that the Factor Therapeutics Limited (ASX:FTT) is up 33% in the last quarter. But will that heal all the wounds inflicted over 5 years of declines? Unlikely. Five years have seen the share price descend precipitously, down a full 99%. The recent bounce might mean the long decline is over, but we are not confident. 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.

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View our latest analysis for Factor Therapeutics

With just AU$53,701 worth of revenue in twelve months, we don’t think the market considers Factor Therapeutics to have proven its business plan. We can’t help wondering why it’s publicly listed so early in its journey. Are venture capitalists not interested? As a result, we think it’s unlikely shareholders are paying much attention to current revenue, but rather speculating on growth in the years to come. For example, they may be hoping that Factor Therapeutics 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 do very well over the long term, others become hyped up by promoters before eventually falling back down to earth, and going bankrupt (or being recapitalized). It certainly is a dangerous place to invest, as Factor Therapeutics investors might realise.

Factor Therapeutics had cash in excess of all liabilities of just AU$647k when it last reported (December 2018). So if it has not already moved to replenish reserves, we think the near-term chances of a capital raising event are pretty high. That probably explains why the share price is down 58% per year, over 5 years. You can see in the image below, how Factor Therapeutics’s cash levels have changed over time (click to see the values).

ASX:FTT Historical Debt, May 21st 2019
ASX:FTT Historical Debt, May 21st 2019

Of course, the truth is that it is hard to value companies without much revenue or profit. What if insiders are ditching the stock hand over fist? I’d like that just about as much as I like to drink milk and fruit juice mixed together. You can click here to see if there are insiders selling.

A Different Perspective

Factor Therapeutics shareholders are down 90% for the year, but the market itself is up 10%. 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 57% 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. If you would like to research Factor Therapeutics in more detail then you might want to take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in the company.

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 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.