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Did You Manage To Avoid Zecotek Photonics's (CVE:ZMS) 96% Share Price Wipe Out?

Simply Wall St

We're definitely into long term investing, but some companies are simply bad investments over any time frame. It hits us in the gut when we see fellow investors suffer a loss. Imagine if you held Zecotek Photonics Inc. (CVE:ZMS) for half a decade as the share price tanked 96%. We also note that the stock has performed poorly over the last year, with the share price down 87%. Furthermore, it's down 40% in about a quarter. That's not much fun for holders.

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

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See our latest analysis for Zecotek Photonics

With just CA$4,989 worth of revenue in twelve months, we don't think the market considers Zecotek Photonics to have proven its business plan. We can't help wondering why it's publicly listed so early in its journey. Are venture capitalists not interested? 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 Zecotek Photonics will significantly advance the business plan before too long.

As a general rule, if a company doesn't have much revenue, and it loses money, then it is a high risk investment. There is almost always a chance they will need to raise more capital, and their progress - and share price - will dictate how dilutive that is to current holders. 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). It certainly is a dangerous place to invest, as Zecotek Photonics investors might realise.

Our data indicates that Zecotek Photonics had CA$4,997,397 more in total liabilities than it had cash, when it last reported in January 2019. That makes it extremely high risk, in our view. But since the share price has dived -47% per year, over 5 years, it looks like some investors think it's time to abandon ship, so to speak. The image below shows how Zecotek Photonics's balance sheet has changed over time; if you want to see the precise values, simply click on the image.

TSXV:ZMS Historical Debt, May 25th 2019

In reality it's hard to have much certainty when valuing a business that has neither revenue or profit. What if insiders are ditching the stock hand over fist? It would bother me, that's for sure. You can click here to see if there are insiders selling.

A Different Perspective

Investors in Zecotek Photonics had a tough year, with a total loss of 87%, against a market gain of about 1.5%. 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. Unfortunately, last year's performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it was worse than the annualised loss of 47% over the last half decade. 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. You might want to assess this data-rich visualization of its earnings, revenue and cash flow.

We will like Zecotek Photonics better if we see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, 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.