U.S. Markets closed

Such Is Life: How Atomera (NASDAQ:ATOM) Shareholders Saw Their Shares Drop 57%

Simply Wall St

The truth is that if you invest for long enough, you're going to end up with some losing stocks. But long term Atomera Incorporated (NASDAQ:ATOM) shareholders have had a particularly rough ride in the last three year. Regrettably, they have had to cope with a 57% drop in the share price over that period. The falls have accelerated recently, with the share price down 21% in the last three months.

View our latest analysis for Atomera

We don't think Atomera's revenue of US$545,000 is enough to establish significant demand. 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). Investors will be hoping that Atomera can make progress and gain better traction for the business, before it runs low on cash.

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 usually a significant chance that they will need more money for business development, putting them at the mercy of capital markets. So the share price itself impacts the value of the shares (as it determines the cost of capital). 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 Atomera investors might realise.

When it last reported its balance sheet in September 2019, Atomera had cash in excess of all liabilities of US$16m. 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 24% per year, over 3 years . You can click on the image below to see (in greater detail) how Atomera's cash levels have changed over time. You can click on the image below to see (in greater detail) how Atomera's cash levels have changed over time.

NasdaqCM:ATOM Historical Debt, December 6th 2019

It can be extremely risky to invest in a company that doesn't even have revenue. There's no way to know its value easily. Given that situation, would you be concerned if it turned out insiders were relentlessly selling stock? It would bother me, that's for sure. You can click here to see if there are insiders selling.

A Different Perspective

The last twelve months weren't great for Atomera shares, which cost holders 5.6%, while the market was up about 18%. 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 24% per annum loss investors have suffered over the last three years. We would want clear information suggesting the company will grow, before taking the view that the share price will stabilize. Before spending more time on Atomera it might be wise to click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling shares.

If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).

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.