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Sage Therapeutics (NASDAQ:SAGE) shareholders have endured a 73% loss from investing in the stock three years ago

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It's not possible to invest over long periods without making some bad investments. But really bad investments should be rare. So consider, for a moment, the misfortune of Sage Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:SAGE) investors who have held the stock for three years as it declined a whopping 73%. That'd be enough to cause even the strongest minds some disquiet. The falls have accelerated recently, with the share price down 38% in the last three months. 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.

So let's have a look and see if the longer term performance of the company has been in line with the underlying business' progress.

See our latest analysis for Sage Therapeutics

To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it's a weighing machine. One imperfect but simple way to consider how the market perception of a company has shifted is to compare the change in the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price movement.

Sage Therapeutics became profitable within the last five years. We would usually expect to see the share price rise as a result. So it's worth looking at other metrics to try to understand the share price move.

We note that, in three years, revenue has actually grown at a 115% annual rate, so that doesn't seem to be a reason to sell shares. It's probably worth investigating Sage Therapeutics further; while we may be missing something on this analysis, there might also be an opportunity.

You can see below how earnings and revenue have changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).

earnings-and-revenue-growth
earnings-and-revenue-growth

It's probably worth noting we've seen significant insider buying in the last quarter, which we consider a positive. On the other hand, we think the revenue and earnings trends are much more meaningful measures of the business. If you are thinking of buying or selling Sage Therapeutics stock, you should check out this free report showing analyst profit forecasts.

A Different Perspective

Sage Therapeutics shareholders are down 14% for the year, but the market itself is up 33%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 3%, each year, over five years. If the fundamental data continues to indicate long term sustainable growth, the current sell-off could be an opportunity worth considering. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Sage Therapeutics better, we need to consider many other factors. Take risks, for example - Sage Therapeutics has 2 warning signs we think you should be aware of.

Sage Therapeutics is not the only stock that insiders are buying. For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.

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. 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.

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

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