Some Sound Energy plc (LON:SOU) shareholders are probably rather concerned to see the share price fall 34% over the last three months. But in stark contrast, the returns over the last half decade have impressed. Indeed, the share price is up an impressive 138% in that time. To some, the recent pullback wouldn't be surprising after such a fast rise. Only time will tell if there is still too much optimism currently reflected in the share price.
With zero revenue generated over twelve months, we don't think that Sound Energy has proved its business plan yet. So it seems shareholders are too busy dreaming about the progress to come than dwelling on the current (lack of) revenue. It seems likely some shareholders believe that Sound Energy will discover or develop fossil fuel before too long.
Companies that lack both meaningful revenue and profits are usually considered 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). Of course, if you time it right, high risk investments like this can really pay off, as Sound Energy investors might know.
Sound Energy had net debt of UK£10,008,000 when it last reported in December 2018, according to our data. That puts it in the highest risk category, according to our analysis. So we're surprised to see the stock up 19% per year, over 5 years, but we're happy for holders. It's clear more than a few people believe in the potential. You can see in the image below, how Sound Energy's cash and debt levels have changed over time (click to see the values).
In reality it's hard to have much certainty when valuing a business that has neither revenue or profit. However you can take a look at whether insiders have been buying up shares. If they are buying a significant amount of shares, that's certainly a good thing. You can click here to see if there are insiders buying.
What about the Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?
We've already covered Sound Energy's share price action, but we should also mention its total shareholder return (TSR). The TSR attempts to capture the value of dividends (as if they were reinvested) as well as any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings offered to shareholders. Sound Energy hasn't been paying dividends, but its TSR of 145% exceeds its share price return of 138%, implying it has either spun-off a business, or raised capital at a discount; thereby providing additional value to shareholders.
A Different Perspective
Sound Energy shareholders are down 60% for the year, but the market itself is up 5.2%. 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 20%, 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. Before spending more time on Sound Energy it might be wise to click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling shares.
Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of companies we expect will grow earnings.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on GB exchanges.
We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.com. 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.