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If You Had Bought Leaf Resources (ASX:LER) Stock Five Years Ago, You'd Be Sitting On A 90% Loss, Today

Simply Wall St

Long term investing works well, but it doesn't always work for each individual stock. We don't wish catastrophic capital loss on anyone. Imagine if you held Leaf Resources Limited (ASX:LER) for half a decade as the share price tanked 90%. We also note that the stock has performed poorly over the last year, with the share price down 68%. Furthermore, it's down 45% in about a quarter. That's not much fun for holders. However, one could argue that the price has been influenced by the general market, which is down 30% in the same timeframe.

We really hope anyone holding through that price crash has a diversified portfolio. Even when you lose money, you don't have to lose the lesson.

See our latest analysis for Leaf Resources

We don't think Leaf Resources's revenue of AU$358,440 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. It seems likely some shareholders believe that Leaf Resources 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. You should be aware that the company needed to issue more shares recently so that it could raise enough money to continue pursuing its business plan. While some such companies go on to make revenue, profits, and generate value, others get hyped up by hopeful naifs before eventually going bankrupt. It certainly is a dangerous place to invest, as Leaf Resources investors might realise.

Leaf Resources had liabilities exceeding cash when it last reported, according to our data. That made it extremely high risk, in our view. But with the share price diving 37% per year, over 5 years , it's probably fair to say that some shareholders no longer believe the company will succeed or they are worried about dilution with the recent cash injection. You can see in the image below, how Leaf Resources's cash levels have changed over time (click to see the values).

ASX:LER Historical Debt March 28th 2020

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? I would feel more nervous about the company if that were so. It only takes a moment for you to check whether we have identified any insider sales recently.

A Different Perspective

While the broader market lost about 19% in the twelve months, Leaf Resources shareholders did even worse, losing 67%. However, it could simply be that the share price has been impacted by broader market jitters. It might be worth keeping an eye on the fundamentals, in case there's a good opportunity. Regrettably, last year's performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 36% 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. 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. Even so, be aware that Leaf Resources is showing 7 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 4 of those can't be ignored...

But note: Leaf Resources may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with past earnings growth (and further growth forecast).

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 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.