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Shareholders in Genetic Signatures (ASX:GSS) are in the red if they invested three years ago

Genetic Signatures Limited (ASX:GSS) shareholders should be happy to see the share price up 13% in the last month. But the last three years have seen a terrible decline. Indeed, the share price is down a whopping 72% in the last three years. So we're relieved for long term holders to see a bit of uplift. But the more important question is whether the underlying business can justify a higher price still.

It's worthwhile assessing if the company's economics have been moving in lockstep with these underwhelming shareholder returns, or if there is some disparity between the two. So let's do just that.

See our latest analysis for Genetic Signatures

Genetic Signatures isn't currently profitable, so most analysts would look to revenue growth to get an idea of how fast the underlying business is growing. Shareholders of unprofitable companies usually expect strong revenue growth. As you can imagine, fast revenue growth, when maintained, often leads to fast profit growth.

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In the last three years, Genetic Signatures saw its revenue grow by 4.5% per year, compound. That's not a very high growth rate considering it doesn't make profits. Nonetheless, it's fair to say the rapidly declining share price (down 20%, compound, over three years) suggests the market is very disappointed with this level of growth. While we're definitely wary of the stock, after that kind of performance, it could be an over-reaction. Before considering a purchase, take a look at the losses the company is racking up.

The image below shows how earnings and revenue have tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).

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

If you are thinking of buying or selling Genetic Signatures stock, you should check out this FREE detailed report on its balance sheet.

A Different Perspective

While the broader market gained around 7.5% in the last year, Genetic Signatures shareholders lost 39%. Even the share prices of good stocks drop sometimes, but we want to see improvements in the fundamental metrics of a business, before getting too interested. Unfortunately, last year's performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it was worse than the annualised loss of 8% over the last half decade. Generally speaking long term share price weakness can be a bad sign, though contrarian investors might want to research the stock in hope of a turnaround. While it is well worth considering the different impacts that market conditions can have on the share price, there are other factors that are even more important. Case in point: We've spotted 2 warning signs for Genetic Signatures you should be aware of.

We will like Genetic Signatures better if we see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, insider buying.

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