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Investors in BioLife Solutions (NASDAQ:BLFS) have unfortunately lost 49% over the last three years

BioLife Solutions, Inc. (NASDAQ:BLFS) shareholders should be happy to see the share price up 14% in the last quarter. But that doesn't change the fact that the returns over the last three years have been less than pleasing. In fact, the share price is down 49% in the last three years, falling well short of the market return.

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.

Check out our latest analysis for BioLife Solutions

BioLife Solutions isn't currently profitable, so most analysts would look to revenue growth to get an idea of how fast the underlying business is growing. Generally speaking, companies without profits are expected to grow revenue every year, and at a good clip. That's because it's hard to be confident a company will be sustainable if revenue growth is negligible, and it never makes a profit.

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Over three years, BioLife Solutions grew revenue at 31% per year. That is faster than most pre-profit companies. The share price drop of 14% per year over three years would be considered disappointing by many, so you might argue the company is getting little credit for its impressive revenue growth. It seems likely that actual growth fell short of shareholders' expectations. Still, with high hopes now tempered, now might prove to be an opportunity to buy.

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

Balance sheet strength is crucial. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on how its financial position has changed over time.

A Different Perspective

Investors in BioLife Solutions had a tough year, with a total loss of 11%, against a market gain of about 30%. 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. On the bright side, long term shareholders have made money, with a gain of 1.0% per year over half a decade. It could be that the recent sell-off is an opportunity, so it may be worth checking the fundamental data for signs of a long term growth trend. 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. Even so, be aware that BioLife Solutions is showing 2 warning signs in our investment analysis , you should know about...

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 American 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.