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If You Had Bought Active Energy Group (LON:AEG) Stock Five Years Ago, You'd Be Sitting On A 83% Loss, Today

Simply Wall St

It is a pleasure to report that the Active Energy Group PLC (LON:AEG) is up 41% in the last quarter. But will that heal all the wounds inflicted over 5 years of declines? Unlikely. In fact, the share price has tumbled down a mountain to land 83% lower after that period. It's true that the recent bounce could signal the company is turning over a new leaf, but we are not so sure. The important question is if the business itself justifies a higher share price in the long term.

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

Check out our latest analysis for Active Energy Group

We don't think Active Energy Group's revenue of US$195,000 is enough to establish significant demand. 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, they may be hoping that Active Energy Group finds fossil fuels with an exploration program, before it runs out of money.

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 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 Active Energy Group investors might realise.

Active Energy Group had liabilities exceeding cash by US$15,794,952 when it last reported in December 2018, according to our data. That puts it in the highest risk category, according to our analysis. But since the share price has dived -30% 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 Active Energy Group'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 Active Energy Group's cash levels have changed over time (click to see the values).

AIM:AEG Historical Debt, September 12th 2019

Of course, the truth is that it is hard to value companies without much revenue or profit. Given that situation, would you be concerned if it turned out insiders were relentlessly selling stock? I'd like that just about as much as I like to drink milk and fruit juice mixed together. It costs nothing but a moment of your time to see if we are picking up on any insider selling.

A Different Perspective

Investors in Active Energy Group had a tough year, with a total loss of 80%, against a market gain of about 4.4%. 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 30% 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 could get a better understanding of Active Energy Group's growth by checking out this more detailed historical graph of earnings, revenue and cash flow.

For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.

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 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.