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Did Changing Sentiment Drive Stria Lithium's (CVE:SRA) Share Price Down A Painful 87%?

Simply Wall St

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Long term investing works well, but it doesn't always work for each individual stock. It hits us in the gut when we see fellow investors suffer a loss. Anyone who held Stria Lithium Inc. (CVE:SRA) for five years would be nursing their metaphorical wounds since the share price dropped 87% in that time. We also note that the stock has performed poorly over the last year, with the share price down 50%.

While a drop like that is definitely a body blow, money isn't as important as health and happiness.

View our latest analysis for Stria Lithium

With zero revenue generated over twelve months, we don't think that Stria Lithium has proved its business plan yet. This state of affairs suggests that venture capitalists won't provide funds on attractive terms. So it seems that the investors focused more on what could be, than paying attention to the current revenues (or lack thereof). It seems likely some shareholders believe that Stria Lithium will find or develop a valuable new mine before too long.

We think companies that have neither significant revenues nor profits are pretty 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 companies like this go on to deliver on their plan, making good money for shareholders, many end in painful losses and eventual de-listing. Some Stria Lithium investors have already had a taste of the bitterness stocks like this can leave in the mouth.

Stria Lithium had liabilities exceeding cash by CA$639,662 when it last reported in March 2019, according to our data. That puts it in the highest risk category, according to our analysis. But with the share price diving 33% per year, over 5 years, it's probably fair to say that some shareholders no longer believe the company will succeed. You can see in the image below, how Stria Lithium's cash levels have changed over time (click to see the values). The image below shows how Stria Lithium's balance sheet has changed over time; if you want to see the precise values, simply click on the image.

TSXV:SRA Historical Debt, July 15th 2019

In reality it's hard to have much certainty when valuing a business that has neither revenue or profit. Given that situation, would you be concerned if it turned out insiders were relentlessly selling stock? It would bother me, that's for sure. It only takes a moment for you to check whether we have identified any insider sales recently.

A Different Perspective

Stria Lithium shareholders are down 50% for the year, but the market itself is up 0.3%. 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 33% per year over five years. We realise that Buffett has said investors should 'buy when there is blood on the streets', but we caution that investors should first be sure they are buying a high quality businesses. If you want to research this stock further, the data on insider buying is an obvious place to start. You can click here to see who has been buying shares - and the price they paid.

Stria Lithium is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with insider buying.

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on CA 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 editorial-team@simplywallst.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.