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Imagine Owning Arena Minerals (CVE:AN) And Trying To Stomach The 79% Share Price Drop

Simply Wall St

Arena Minerals Inc. (CVE:AN) shareholders should be happy to see the share price up 30% in the last quarter. But spare a thought for the long term holders, who have held the stock as it bled value over the last five years. Five years have seen the share price descend precipitously, down a full 79%. While the recent increase might be a green shoot, we're certainly hesitant to rejoice. The fundamental business performance will ultimately determine if the turnaround can be sustained.

See our latest analysis for Arena Minerals

Arena Minerals didn't have any revenue in the last year, so it's fair to say it doesn't yet have a proven product (or at least not one people are paying for). You have to wonder why venture capitalists aren't funding it. So it seems shareholders are too busy dreaming about the progress to come than dwelling on the current (lack of) revenue. For example, investors may be hoping that Arena Minerals finds some valuable resources, 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 Arena Minerals investors might realise.

When it last reported its balance sheet in September 2018, Arena Minerals had net cash of CA$2.7m. While that's nothing to panic about, there is some possibility the company will raise more capital, especially if profits are not imminent. We'd venture that shareholders are concerned about the need for more capital, because the share price has dropped 27% per year, over 5 years. You can click on the image below to see (in greater detail) how Arena Minerals's cash and debt levels have changed over time.

TSXV:AN Historical Debt, April 28th 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 would feel more nervous about the company if that were so. It costs nothing but a moment of your time to see if we are picking up on any insider selling.

A Different Perspective

It's nice to see that Arena Minerals shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 8.3% over the last year. Notably the five-year annualised TSR loss of 27% per year compares very unfavourably with the recent share price performance. We generally put more weight on the long term performance over the short term, but the recent improvement could hint at a (positive) inflection point within the business. Investors who like to make money usually check up on insider purchases, such as the price paid, and total amount bought. You can find out about the insider purchases of Arena Minerals by clicking this link.

There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. You probably do not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are 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.