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It is doubtless a positive to see that the Cue Biopharma, Inc. (NASDAQ:CUE) share price has gained some 74% in the last three months. But that doesn't change the reality of under-performance over the last twelve months. In fact, the price has declined 25% in a year, falling short of the returns you could get by investing in an index fund.
Cue Biopharma recorded just US$1,142,604 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? As a result, we think it's unlikely shareholders are paying much attention to current revenue, but rather speculating on growth in the years to come. It seems likely some shareholders believe that Cue Biopharma 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 do very well over the long term, others become hyped up by promoters before eventually falling back down to earth, and going bankrupt (or being recapitalized).
When it reported in December 2018 Cue Biopharma had minimal net cash consider its expenditure: just US$28m to be specific. So if it has not already moved to replenish reserves, we think the near-term chances of a capital raising event are pretty high. With that in mind, you can understand why the share price dropped 25% in the last year. You can click on the image below to see (in greater detail) how Cue Biopharma's cash levels have changed over time.
Of course, the truth is that it is hard to value companies without much revenue or profit. Would it bother you if insiders were selling the stock? It would bother me, that's for sure. It costs nothing but a moment of your time to see if we are picking up on any insider selling.
A Different Perspective
Given that the market gained 11% in the last year, Cue Biopharma shareholders might be miffed that they lost 25%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. It's great to see a nice little 74% rebound in the last three months. Let's just hope this isn't the widely-feared 'dead cat bounce' (which would indicate further declines to come). Investors who like to make money usually check up on insider purchases, such as the price paid, and total amount bought. You can find out about the insider purchases of Cue Biopharma by clicking this link.
If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).
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 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.