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Those Who Purchased Astro Resources (ASX:ARO) Shares Five Years Ago Have A 98% Loss To Show For It

Simply Wall St

Long term investing works well, but it doesn't always work for each individual stock. We really hate to see fellow investors lose their hard-earned money. For example, we sympathize with anyone who was caught holding Astro Resources NL (ASX:ARO) during the five years that saw its share price drop a whopping 98%. And it's not just long term holders hurting, because the stock is down 33% in the last year.

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.

View our latest analysis for Astro Resources

Astro Resources recorded just AU$11,143 in revenue over the last twelve months, which isn't really enough for us to consider it to have a proven product. We can't help wondering why it's publicly listed so early in its journey. Are venture capitalists not interested? As a result, we think it's unlikely shareholders are paying much attention to current revenue, but rather speculating on growth in the years to come. It seems likely some shareholders believe that Astro Resources will find or develop a valuable new mine before too long.

As a general rule, if a company doesn't have much revenue, and it loses money, then it is a high risk investment. 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 companies like this go on to deliver on their plan, making good money for shareholders, many end in painful losses and eventual de-listing. Astro Resources has already given some investors a taste of the bitter losses that high risk investing can cause.

Our data indicates that Astro Resources had AU$1.6m more in total liabilities than it had cash, when it last reported in June 2019. That puts it in the highest risk category, according to our analysis. But since the share price has dived -54% per year, over 5 years , it looks like some investors think it's time to abandon ship, so to speak. You can click on the image below to see (in greater detail) how Astro Resources's cash levels have changed over time. You can see in the image below, how Astro Resources's cash levels have changed over time (click to see the values).

ASX:ARO Historical Debt, October 9th 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.

What about the Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?

Investors should note that there's a difference between Astro Resources's total shareholder return (TSR) and its share price change, which we've covered above. 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. Astro Resources hasn't been paying dividends, but its TSR of -93% exceeds its share price return of -98%, implying it has either spun-off a business, or raised capital at a discount; thereby providing additional value to shareholders.

A Different Perspective

While the broader market gained around 13% in the last year, Astro Resources shareholders lost 33%. 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 42% per annum loss investors have suffered over the last half decade. We'd need to see some sustained improvements in the key metrics before we could muster much enthusiasm. You might want to assess this data-rich visualization of its 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 AU exchanges.

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.

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. Thank you for reading.