Some stocks are best avoided. We don't wish catastrophic capital loss on anyone. Spare a thought for those who held NanoViricides, Inc. (NYSEMKT:NNVC) for five whole years - as the share price tanked 92%. And some of the more recent buyers are probably worried, too, with the stock falling 64% in the last year. Unfortunately the share price momentum is still quite negative, with prices down 11% in thirty days.
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.
With zero revenue generated over twelve months, we don't think that NanoViricides has proved its business plan yet. 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. It seems likely some shareholders believe that NanoViricides has the funding to invent a new product before too long.
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 NanoViricides investors have already had a taste of the bitterness stocks like this can leave in the mouth.
NanoViricides had net cash of just US$2.7m when it last reported (December 2018). So if it hasn't remedied the situation already, it will almost certainly have to raise more capital soon. That probably explains why the share price is down 39% per year, over 5 years. The image below shows how NanoViricides's balance sheet has changed over time; if you want to see the precise values, simply click on the image.
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. What if insiders are ditching the stock hand over fist? It would bother me, that's for sure. You can click here to see if there are insiders selling.
A Different Perspective
Investors in NanoViricides had a tough year, with a total loss of 64%, against a market gain of about 12%. 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 39% over the last half decade. We realise that Buffett has said investors should 'buy when there is blood on the streets', but we caution that investors should first be sure they are buying a high quality businesses. You could get a better understanding of NanoViricides's growth by checking out this more detailed historical graph of earnings, revenue and cash flow.
If you would prefer to check out another company -- one with potentially superior financials -- then do not miss this free list of companies that have proven they can grow earnings.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US 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.