Investors can approximate the average market return by buying an index fund. But if you buy individual stocks, you can do both better or worse than that. For example, the UroGen Pharma Ltd. (NASDAQ:URGN) share price is down 37% in the last year. That falls noticeably short of the market return of around 0.9%. Because UroGen Pharma hasn’t been listed for many years, the market is still learning about how the business performs. Furthermore, it’s down 21% in about a quarter. That’s not much fun for holders. We note that the company has reported results fairly recently; and the market is hardly delighted. You can check out the latest numbers in our company report.
We don’t think UroGen Pharma’s revenue of US$1,128,000 is enough to establish significant demand. You have to wonder why venture capitalists aren’t funding it. 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 UroGen Pharma 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. The 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 companies like this go on to deliver on their plan, making good money for shareholders, many end in painful losses and eventual de-listing.
When it last reported its balance sheet in December 2018, UroGen Pharma had net cash of US$88m. While that’s nothing to panic about, there is some possibility the company will raise more capital, especially if profits are not imminent. With the share price down 37% in the last year, it seems likely that the need for cash is weighing on investors’ minds. You can see in the image below, how UroGen Pharma’s cash and debt levels have changed over time (click to see the values).
In reality it’s hard to have much certainty when valuing a business that has neither revenue or profit. Given that situation, would you be concerned if it turned out insiders were relentlessly selling stock? 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
While UroGen Pharma shareholders are down 37% for the year, the market itself is up 0.9%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. The share price decline has continued throughout the most recent three months, down 21%, suggesting an absence of enthusiasm from investors. Given the relatively short history of this stock, we’d remain pretty wary until we see some strong business performance. Before spending more time on UroGen Pharma it might be wise to click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling shares.
Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of companies we expect will grow earnings.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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If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.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.