Investing in stocks inevitably means buying into some companies that perform poorly. But the last three years have been particularly tough on longer term A-Cap Energy Limited (ASX:ACB) shareholders. So they might be feeling emotional about the 57% share price collapse, in that time. The more recent news is of little comfort, with the share price down 42% in a year. Furthermore, it's down 22% in about a quarter. That's not much fun for holders. We note that the company has reported results fairly recently; and the market is hardly delighted. You can check out the latest numbers in our company report.
We don't think A-Cap Energy's revenue of AU$4,199 is enough to establish significant demand. We can't help wondering why it's publicly listed so early in its journey. Are venture capitalists not interested? So it seems that the investors focused more on what could be, than paying attention to the current revenues (or lack thereof). It seems likely some shareholders believe that A-Cap Energy will discover or develop fossil fuel before too long.
We think companies that have neither significant revenues nor profits are pretty high risk. You should be aware that there is always a chance that this sort of company will need to issue more shares to raise money to continue pursuing its business plan. While some such companies do very well over the long term, others become hyped up by promoters before eventually falling back down to earth, and going bankrupt (or being recapitalized). A-Cap Energy has already given some investors a taste of the bitter losses that high risk investing can cause.
A-Cap Energy had liabilities exceeding cash by AU$6.1m when it last reported in June 2019, according to our data. That makes it extremely high risk, in our view. But since the share price has dived -24% per year, over 3 years , it looks like some investors think it's time to abandon ship, so to speak. You can click on the image below to see (in greater detail) how A-Cap Energy's cash levels have changed over time. The image below shows how A-Cap Energy's balance sheet has changed over time; if you want to see the precise values, simply click on the image.
Of course, the truth is that it is hard to value companies without much revenue or profit. What if insiders are ditching the stock hand over fist? I'd like that just about as much as I like to drink milk and fruit juice mixed together. It only takes a moment for you to check whether we have identified any insider sales recently.
What about the Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?
We've already covered A-Cap Energy's share price action, but we should also mention its total shareholder return (TSR). Arguably the TSR is a more complete return calculation because it accounts for the value of dividends (as if they were reinvested), along with the hypothetical value of any discounted capital that have been offered to shareholders. We note that A-Cap Energy's TSR, at -56% is higher than its share price return of -57%. When you consider it hasn't been paying a dividend, this data suggests shareholders have benefitted from a spin-off, or had the opportunity to acquire attractively priced shares in a discounted capital raising.
A Different Perspective
Investors in A-Cap Energy had a tough year, with a total loss of 42%, against a market gain of about 23%. 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 11% 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. Shareholders might want to examine this detailed historical graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.
If you are like me, then you will 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 AU exchanges.
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If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.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.