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Despite shrinking by AU$13m in the past week, Prescient Therapeutics (ASX:PTX) shareholders are still up 195% over 3 years

Prescient Therapeutics Limited (ASX:PTX) shareholders might be concerned after seeing the share price drop 27% in the last quarter. But that doesn't change the fact that the returns over the last three years have been very strong. In three years the stock price has launched 189% higher: a great result. After a run like that some may not be surprised to see prices moderate. Only time will tell if there is still too much optimism currently reflected in the share price.

In light of the stock dropping 11% in the past week, we want to investigate the longer term story, and see if fundamentals have been the driver of the company's positive three-year return.

See our latest analysis for Prescient Therapeutics

We don't think Prescient Therapeutics' revenue of AU$1,380,102 is enough to establish significant demand. So it seems that the investors focused more on what could be, than paying attention to the current revenues (or lack thereof). It seems likely some shareholders believe that Prescient Therapeutics has the funding to invent a new product before too long.

We think companies that have neither significant revenues nor profits are pretty high risk. You should be aware that there is always a chance that this sort of company will need to issue more shares to raise money to continue pursuing its business plan. While some such companies go on to make revenue, profits, and generate value, others get hyped up by hopeful naifs before eventually going bankrupt. Of course, if you time it right, high risk investments like this can really pay off, as Prescient Therapeutics investors might know.

When it last reported its balance sheet in December 2021, Prescient Therapeutics could boast a strong position, with cash in excess of all liabilities of AU$14m. This gives management the flexibility to drive business growth, without worrying too much about cash reserves. And given that the share price has shot up 75% per year, over 3 years , it's fair to say investors are liking management's vision for the future. You can see in the image below, how Prescient Therapeutics' cash levels have changed over time (click to see the values).

debt-equity-history-analysis
debt-equity-history-analysis

Of course, the truth is that it is hard to value companies without much revenue or profit. However you can take a look at whether insiders have been buying up shares. If they are buying a significant amount of shares, that's certainly a good thing. You can click here to see if there are insiders buying.

What about the Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?

We'd be remiss not to mention the difference between Prescient Therapeutics' total shareholder return (TSR) and its share price return. The TSR is a return calculation that accounts for the value of cash dividends (assuming that any dividend received was reinvested) and the calculated value of any discounted capital raisings and spin-offs. We note that Prescient Therapeutics' TSR, at 195% is higher than its share price return of 189%. When you consider it hasn't been paying a dividend, this data suggests shareholders have benefitted from a spin-off, or had the opportunity to acquire attractively priced shares in a discounted capital raising.

A Different Perspective

It's good to see that Prescient Therapeutics has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 74% in the last twelve months. That's better than the annualised return of 15% over half a decade, implying that the company is doing better recently. Someone with an optimistic perspective could view the recent improvement in TSR as indicating that the business itself is getting better with time. I find it very interesting to look at share price over the long term as a proxy for business performance. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. To that end, you should learn about the 4 warning signs we've spotted with Prescient Therapeutics (including 1 which is significant) .

If you would prefer to check out another company -- one with potentially superior financials -- then do not miss this free list of companies that have proven they can grow earnings.

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on AU exchanges.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

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.