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Imagine Owning Lilis Energy (NYSEMKT:LLEX) And Taking A 96% Loss Square On The Chin

Simply Wall St

We're definitely into long term investing, but some companies are simply bad investments over any time frame. We don't wish catastrophic capital loss on anyone. Anyone who held Lilis Energy, Inc. (NYSEMKT:LLEX) for five years would be nursing their metaphorical wounds since the share price dropped 96% in that time. And it's not just long term holders hurting, because the stock is down 73% in the last year. The falls have accelerated recently, with the share price down 34% in the last three months.

We really feel for shareholders in this scenario. It's a good reminder of the importance of diversification, and it's worth keeping in mind there's more to life than money, anyway.

See our latest analysis for Lilis Energy

Because Lilis Energy is loss-making, we think the market is probably more focussed on revenue and revenue growth, at least for now. Generally speaking, companies without profits are expected to grow revenue every year, and at a good clip. That's because fast revenue growth can be easily extrapolated to forecast profits, often of considerable size.

In the last half decade, Lilis Energy saw its revenue increase by 71% per year. That's well above most other pre-profit companies. So it's not at all clear to us why the share price sunk 48% throughout that time. You'd have to assume the market is worried that profits won't come soon enough. We'd recommend carefully checking for indications of future growth - and balance sheet threats - before considering a purchase.

The chart below shows how revenue and earnings have changed with time, (if you click on the chart you can see the actual values).

AMEX:LLEX Income Statement, April 22nd 2019

We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. You can see what analysts are predicting for Lilis Energy in this interactive graph of future profit estimates.

A Different Perspective

Investors in Lilis Energy had a tough year, with a total loss of 73%, against a market gain of about 9.3%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Unfortunately, last year's performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it was worse than the annualised loss of 48% over the last half decade. We realise that Buffett has said investors should 'buy when there is blood on the streets', but we caution that investors should first be sure they are buying a high quality businesses. It is all well and good that insiders have been buying shares, but we suggest you check here to see what price insiders were buying at.

Lilis Energy is not the only stock that insiders are buying. 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 US 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.