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. That downside risk was realized by Guardant Health, Inc. (NASDAQ:GH) shareholders over the last year, as the share price declined 13%. That falls noticeably short of the market return of around 19%. We wouldn't rush to judgement on Guardant Health because we don't have a long term history to look at. Furthermore, it's down 11% 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.
Guardant Health wasn't profitable in the last twelve months, it is unlikely we'll see a strong correlation between its share price and its earnings per share (EPS). Arguably revenue is our next best option. When a company doesn't make profits, we'd generally expect to see good revenue growth. Some companies are willing to postpone profitability to grow revenue faster, but in that case one does expect good top-line growth.
In the last year Guardant Health saw its revenue grow by 77%. That's a strong result which is better than most other loss making companies. The share price drop of 13% over twelve months would be considered disappointing by many, so you might argue the company is getting little credit for its impressive revenue growth. On the bright side, if this company is moving profits in the right direction, top-line growth like that could be an opportunity. Our monkey brains haven't evolved to think exponentially, so humans do tend to underestimate companies that have exponential growth.
You can see below how earnings and revenue have changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
We're pleased to report that the CEO is remunerated more modestly than most CEOs at similarly capitalized companies. But while CEO remuneration is always worth checking, the really important question is whether the company can grow earnings going forward. This free report showing analyst forecasts should help you form a view on Guardant Health
A Different Perspective
While Guardant Health shareholders are down 13% for the year, the market itself is up 19%. While the aim is to do better than that, it's worth recalling that even great long-term investments sometimes underperform for a year or more. With the stock down 11% over the last three months, the market doesn't seem to believe that the company has solved all its problems. Given the relatively short history of this stock, we'd remain pretty wary until we see some strong business performance. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Guardant Health better, we need to consider many other factors. Take risks, for example - Guardant Health has 2 warning signs we think you should be aware of.
If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.
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. 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.
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