Stocks that lose more than 90% of their value have an uphill climb to earn investors’ trust again. Sometimes that climb can take years. In the case of MannKind Corporation (NASDAQ:MNKD) it’s now been more than two years, but MNKD stock still is no buy.
From June 2014 to January 2016, MNKD stock all but evaporated, plummeting from $52 to $3. Now, more than two years later, MNKD trades even lower than that, at a little more than $2.60 as of this writing. That’s not exactly progress.
There have been a few false starts, of course. After having seemingly hit bottom two years ago, MNKD stock had a nice, quick run-up to $10, only to come crashing back to $4 by May of that year.
It kept falling until the following May, becoming a mere penny stock at $0.80 per share. Last October, however, it jumped back above $5, only to finish the year at less than half that. MNKD hasn’t been as high as $3 since.
With such a depressed share price, sales set to double this year, and a traditionally high-growth sector, it can be tempting to view MNKD stock as a bargain. Don’t make that mistake.
The Afrezza Dud
For starters, despite MannKind’s expected top-line growth, its bottom line is a mess: the company lost -$0.31 per share in the third quarter (fourth-quarter results aren’t due out until March), and analysts project a -$0.98 per share loss for full-year 2018.
The main problem is the lack of traction in MannKind’s signature drug Afrezza, an inhaled insulin product for diabetics. The drug has been on the market for three years and has generated roughly $30 million in revenue—a far cry from the billions the company spent to develop it.
Sales were so weak, in fact, that Sanofi (NYSE:SNY), with whom MannKind struck a licensing deal when Afrezza was launched, pulled out of the deal just a year into their partnership when it saw how low demand was for the product.
That was two years ago. Things haven’t gotten much better since—for the company or the stock. MannKind still has $165 million in debt, profits are nowhere in sight, and the company is doubling its number of outstanding shares to raise more cash.
That’s the kind of thing a desperate company does. And there’s no reason to add a desperate, profit-less company to your portfolio, no matter the expected sales growth or the low share price.
Bottom Line on MNKD Stock
Really, there’s no compelling reason to invest in MNKD, and hasn’t been for the last two years. Not long ago, MannKind had a lot of promise after Afrezza gained Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval, and investors gobbled up MNKD stock.
As a result, shares rocketed up nearly 700% in fewer than two years.
But the reality of Afrezza has never matched its promise, and investors started abandoning ship long before Sanofi did. Once Sanofi joined them, it was essentially a death knell for the company, and investors haven’t returned.
They won’t be coming back anytime soon. Don’t get cute by buying MNKD stock thinking it has finally bottomed and has nowhere to go but up. Do something Sanofi should have done: stay away.
As of this writing, Chris Fraley did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.