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Introducing RareX (ASX:REE), The Stock That Tanked 88%

Simply Wall St

The main aim of stock picking is to find the market-beating stocks. But in any portfolio, there will be mixed results between individual stocks. At this point some shareholders may be questioning their investment in RareX Limited (ASX:REE), since the last five years saw the share price fall 88%. Unhappily, the share price slid 2.1% in the last week.

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 RareX

RareX recorded just AU$100,000 in revenue over the last twelve months, which isn't really enough for us to consider it to have a proven product. This state of affairs suggests that venture capitalists won't provide funds on attractive terms. So it seems that the investors focused more on what could be, than paying attention to the current revenues (or lack thereof). For example, investors may be hoping that RareX finds some valuable resources, before it runs out of money.

Companies that lack both meaningful revenue and profits are usually considered 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 go on to make revenue, profits, and generate value, others get hyped up by hopeful naifs before eventually going bankrupt. Some RareX investors have already had a taste of the bitterness stocks like this can leave in the mouth.

When it reported in June 2019 RareX had minimal cash in excess of all liabilities consider its expenditure: just AU$569k to be specific. So if it has not already moved to replenish reserves, we think the near-term chances of a capital raising event are pretty high. That probably explains why the share price is down 34% per year, over 5 years . You can click on the image below to see (in greater detail) how RareX's cash levels have changed over time. The image below shows how RareX's balance sheet has changed over time; if you want to see the precise values, simply click on the image.

ASX:REE Historical Debt, December 22nd 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.

What about the Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?

Investors should note that there's a difference between RareX's total shareholder return (TSR) and its share price change, which we've covered above. 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 RareX's TSR, at -48% is higher than its share price return of -88%. 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

RareX shareholders are down 8.0% for the year, but the market itself is up 29%. Even the share prices of good stocks drop sometimes, but we want to see improvements in the fundamental metrics of a business, before getting too interested. However, the loss over the last year isn't as bad as the 12% per annum loss investors have suffered over the last half decade. We would want clear information suggesting the company will grow, before taking the view that the share price will stabilize. You could get a better understanding of RareX's growth by checking out this more detailed historical graph of earnings, revenue and cash flow.

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 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.