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Investors Who Bought Sigma Labs (NASDAQ:SGLB) Shares Five Years Ago Are Now Down 93%

Simply Wall St

This month, we saw the Sigma Labs, Inc. (NASDAQ:SGLB) up an impressive 58%. But that doesn't change the fact that the returns over the last half decade have been stomach churning. Like a ship taking on water, the share price has sunk 93% in that time. While the recent increase might be a green shoot, we're certainly hesitant to rejoice. The important question is if the business itself justifies a higher share price in the long term.

While a drop like that is definitely a body blow, money isn't as important as health and happiness.

See our latest analysis for Sigma Labs

With just US$326,938 worth of revenue in twelve months, we don't think the market considers Sigma Labs to have proven its business plan. We can't help wondering why it's publicly listed so early in its journey. Are venture capitalists not interested? So it seems shareholders are too busy dreaming about the progress to come than dwelling on the current (lack of) revenue. Investors will be hoping that Sigma Labs can make progress and gain better traction for the business, before it runs low on cash.

We think companies that have neither significant revenues nor profits are pretty high risk. 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 such companies go on to make revenue, profits, and generate value, others get hyped up by hopeful naifs before eventually going bankrupt. Some Sigma Labs investors have already had a taste of the bitterness stocks like this can leave in the mouth.

When it reported in September 2019 Sigma Labs had minimal cash in excess of all liabilities consider its expenditure: just US$339k 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 41% per year, over 5 years . You can click on the image below to see (in greater detail) how Sigma Labs's cash levels have changed over time. You can see in the image below, how Sigma Labs's cash levels have changed over time (click to see the values).

NasdaqCM:SGLB Historical Debt, December 12th 2019

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 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 gained around 20% in the last year, Sigma Labs shareholders lost 32%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. However, the loss over the last year isn't as bad as the 41% 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. 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 Sigma Labs 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 US 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.