As an investor, mistakes are inevitable. But really big losses can really drag down an overall portfolio. So take a moment to sympathize with the long term shareholders of MediciNova, Inc. (NASDAQ:MNOV), who have seen the share price tank a massive 76% over a three year period. That might cause some serious doubts about the merits of the initial decision to buy the stock, to put it mildly. And the ride hasn't got any smoother in recent times over the last year, with the price 63% lower in that time. Shareholders have had an even rougher run lately, with the share price down 38% in the last 90 days.
If the past week is anything to go by, investor sentiment for MediciNova isn't positive, so let's see if there's a mismatch between fundamentals and the share price.
Because MediciNova made a loss in the last twelve months, we think the market is probably more focussed on revenue and revenue growth, at least for now. Shareholders of unprofitable companies usually expect strong revenue growth. Some companies are willing to postpone profitability to grow revenue faster, but in that case one does expect good top-line growth.
Over three years, MediciNova grew revenue at 143% per year. That's well above most other pre-profit companies. So why has the share priced crashed 21% per year, in the same time? You'd want to take a close look at the balance sheet, as well as the losses. Sometimes fast revenue growth doesn't lead to profits. If the company is low on cash, it may have to raise capital soon.
The graphic below depicts how earnings and revenue have changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).
You can see how its balance sheet has strengthened (or weakened) over time in this free interactive graphic.
A Different Perspective
MediciNova shareholders are down 63% 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, last year's performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it was worse than the annualised loss of 10% over the last half decade. We realise that Baron Rothschild has said investors should "buy when there is blood on the streets", but we caution that investors should first be sure they are buying a high quality business. 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. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 4 warning signs with MediciNova , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.
But note: MediciNova may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with past earnings growth (and further growth forecast).
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.
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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.