As an investor, mistakes are inevitable. But you want to avoid the really big losses like the plague. So consider, for a moment, the misfortune of Amani Gold Limited (ASX:ANL) investors who have held the stock for three years as it declined a whopping 95%. That would certainly shake our confidence in the decision to own the stock. And over the last year the share price fell 56%, so we doubt many shareholders are delighted.
We really feel for shareholders in this scenario. It's a good reminder of the importance of diversification, and it's worth keeping in mind there's more to life than money, anyway.
Amani Gold hasn't yet reported any revenue, so it's as much a business idea as an actual business. This state of affairs suggests that venture capitalists won't provide funds on attractive terms. As a result, we think it's unlikely shareholders are paying much attention to current revenue, but rather speculating on growth in the years to come. For example, investors may be hoping that Amani Gold finds some valuable resources, before it runs out of money.
We think companies that have neither significant revenues nor profits are pretty high risk. There is usually a significant chance that they will need more money for business development, putting them at the mercy of capital markets. So the share price itself impacts the value of the shares (as it determines the cost of capital). While some companies like this go on to deliver on their plan, making good money for shareholders, many end in painful losses and eventual de-listing. It certainly is a dangerous place to invest, as Amani Gold investors might realise.
When it reported in June 2019 Amani Gold had minimal cash in excess of all liabilities consider its expenditure: just AU$2.9m to be specific. So if it hasn't remedied the situation already, it will almost certainly have to raise more capital soon. With that in mind, you can understand why the share price dropped 64% per year, over 3 years . The image below shows how Amani Gold's balance sheet has changed over time; if you want to see the precise values, simply click on the image. You can see in the image below, how Amani Gold's cash levels have changed over time (click to see the values).
It can be extremely risky to invest in a company that doesn't even have revenue. There's no way to know its value easily. Would it bother you if insiders were selling the stock? It would bother me, that's for sure. It costs nothing but a moment of your time to see if we are picking up on any insider selling.
What about the Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?
Investors should note that there's a difference between Amani Gold's total shareholder return (TSR) and its share price change, which we've covered above. Arguably the TSR is a more complete return calculation because it accounts for the value of dividends (as if they were reinvested), along with the hypothetical value of any discounted capital that have been offered to shareholders. Amani Gold hasn't been paying dividends, but its TSR of -94% exceeds its share price return of -95%, implying it has either spun-off a business, or raised capital at a discount; thereby providing additional value to shareholders.
A Different Perspective
Investors in Amani Gold had a tough year, with a total loss of 43%, against a market gain of about 25%. 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. Regrettably, last year's performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 42% per year over five years. 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. Be aware that Amani Gold is showing 7 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 4 of those make us uncomfortable...
If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on AU exchanges.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
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