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If You Had Bought Cadiz (NASDAQ:CDZI) Shares A Year Ago You'd Have Made 34%

Simply Wall St

Passive investing in index funds can generate returns that roughly match the overall market. But if you pick the right individual stocks, you could make more than that. To wit, the Cadiz Inc. (NASDAQ:CDZI) share price is 34% higher than it was a year ago, much better than the market return of around -6.8% (not including dividends) in the same period. If it can keep that out-performance up over the long term, investors will do very well! Zooming out, the stock is actually down 15% in the last three years.

View our latest analysis for Cadiz

With just US$441,000 worth of revenue in twelve months, we don't think the market considers Cadiz to have proven its business plan. So it seems that the investors focused more on what could be, than paying attention to the current revenues (or lack thereof). Investors will be hoping that Cadiz can make progress and gain better traction for the business, before it runs low on cash.

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 usually a significant chance that they will need more money for business development, putting them at the mercy of capital markets to raise equity. 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.

Our data indicates that Cadiz had US$143m more in total liabilities than it had cash, when it last reported in December 2019. That makes it extremely high risk, in our view. So we're surprised to see the stock up 136% in the last year , but we're happy for holders. It's clear more than a few people believe in the potential. You can click on the image below to see (in greater detail) how Cadiz's cash levels have changed over time.

NasdaqGM:CDZI Historical Debt April 10th 2020

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. One thing you can do is check if company insiders are buying shares. It's usually a positive if they have, as it may indicate they see value in the stock. You can click here to see if there are insiders buying.

A Different Perspective

We're pleased to report that Cadiz shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 34% over one year. That's better than the annualised return of 5.4% over half a decade, implying that the company is doing better recently. In the best case scenario, this may hint at some real business momentum, implying that now could be a great time to delve deeper. I find it very interesting to look at share price over the long term as a proxy for business performance. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. To that end, you should learn about the 6 warning signs we've spotted with Cadiz (including 3 which is are significant) .

If you would prefer to check out another company -- one with potentially superior financials -- then do not miss this free list of companies that have proven they can grow earnings.

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.

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.

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. Thank you for reading.