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Investing in stocks inevitably means buying into some companies that perform poorly. Long term Alder BioPharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ:ALDR) shareholders know that all too well, since the share price is down considerably over three years. Regrettably, they have had to cope with a 65% drop in the share price over that period. And the ride hasn’t got any smoother in recent times over the last year, with the price 41% lower in that time. Furthermore, it’s down 12% in about a quarter. That’s not much fun for holders.
Alder BioPharmaceuticals recorded just US$936,000 in revenue over the last twelve months, which isn’t really enough for us to consider it to have a proven product. We can’t help wondering why it’s publicly listed so early in its journey. Are venture capitalists not interested? So it seems shareholders are too busy dreaming about the progress to come than dwelling on the current (lack of) revenue. It seems likely some shareholders believe that Alder BioPharmaceuticals has the funding to invent a new product before too long.
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 usually a significant chance that they will need more money for business development, putting them at the mercy of capital markets. So the share price itself impacts the value of the shares (as it determines the cost of capital). While some such companies go on to make revenue, profits, and generate value, others get hyped up by hopeful naifs before eventually going bankrupt. It certainly is a dangerous place to invest, as Alder BioPharmaceuticals investors might realise.
Alder BioPharmaceuticals had cash in excess of all liabilities of just US$222m when it last reported (March 2019). 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 29% per year, over 3 years. The image below shows how Alder BioPharmaceuticals’s balance sheet has changed over time; if you want to see the precise values, simply click on the image.
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. 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. It only takes a moment for you to check whether we have identified any insider sales recently.
A Different Perspective
While the broader market lost about 0.7% in the twelve months, Alder BioPharmaceuticals shareholders did even worse, losing 41%. However, it could simply be that the share price has been impacted by broader market jitters. It might be worth keeping an eye on the fundamentals, in case there’s a good opportunity. Regrettably, last year’s performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 5.7% per year over five years. 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. Shareholders might want to examine this detailed historical graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.
We will like Alder BioPharmaceuticals 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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.