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It's not possible to invest over long periods without making some bad investments. But you want to avoid the really big losses like the plague. So take a moment to sympathize with the long term shareholders of Dacian Gold Limited (ASX:DCN), who have seen the share price tank a massive 83% over a three year period. That'd be enough to cause even the strongest minds some disquiet. The more recent news is of little comfort, with the share price down 78% in a year. The falls have accelerated recently, with the share price down 22% in the last three months. This could be related to the recent financial results - you can catch up on the most recent data by reading our company report.
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.
Because Dacian Gold made a loss in the last twelve months, 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 three years, Dacian Gold saw its revenue grow by 106% per year, compound. That is faster than most pre-profit companies. So why has the share priced crashed 22% per year, in the same time? You'd want to take a close look at the balance sheet, as well as the losses. Ultimately, revenue growth doesn't amount to much if the business can't scale well. Unless the balance sheet is strong, the company might have to raise capital.
The image below shows how earnings and revenue have tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
This free interactive report on Dacian Gold's balance sheet strength is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.
What about the Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?
We'd be remiss not to mention the difference between Dacian Gold's total shareholder return (TSR) and its share price return. The TSR is a return calculation that accounts for the value of cash dividends (assuming that any dividend received was reinvested) and the calculated value of any discounted capital raisings and spin-offs. We note that Dacian Gold's TSR, at -78% is higher than its share price return of -83%. 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
We regret to report that Dacian Gold shareholders are down 70% for the year. Unfortunately, that's worse than the broader market decline of 7.7%. Having said that, it's inevitable that some stocks will be oversold in a falling market. The key is to keep your eyes on the fundamental developments. Unfortunately, last year's performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it was worse than the annualised loss of 8% 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. I find it very interesting to look at share price over the long term as a proxy for business performance. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 2 warning signs with Dacian Gold (at least 1 which is a bit concerning) , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.
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 AU exchanges.
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. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
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