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Those Who Purchased Leaf Resources (ASX:LER) Shares Three Years Ago Have A 76% Loss To Show For It

Simply Wall St

While it may not be enough for some shareholders, we think it is good to see the Leaf Resources Limited (ASX:LER) share price up 30% in a single quarter. But that doesn't change the fact that the returns over the last three years have been stomach churning. Indeed, the share price is down a whopping 76% in the last three years. So it's about time shareholders saw some gains. The thing to think about is whether the business has really turned around.

Check out our latest analysis for Leaf Resources

Leaf Resources recorded just AU$358,440 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? So it seems that the investors focused more on what could be, than paying attention to the current revenues (or lack thereof). It seems likely some shareholders believe that Leaf Resources will significantly advance the business plan 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. 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 companies like this go on to deliver on their plan, making good money for shareholders, many end in painful losses and eventual de-listing. Leaf Resources has already given some investors a taste of the bitter losses that high risk investing can cause.

Our data indicates that Leaf Resources had AU$3.5m 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 -38% per year, over 3 years , it looks like some investors think it's time to abandon ship, so to speak. The image below shows how Leaf Resources's balance sheet has changed over time; if you want to see the precise values, simply click on the image. You can click on the image below to see (in greater detail) how Leaf Resources's cash levels have changed over time.

ASX:LER Historical Debt, September 30th 2019

In reality it's hard to have much certainty when valuing a business that has neither revenue or profit. What if insiders are ditching the stock hand over fist? I'd like that just about as much as I like to drink milk and fruit juice mixed together. You can click here to see if there are insiders selling.

A Different Perspective

Investors in Leaf Resources had a tough year, with a total loss of 47%, 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. Regrettably, last year's performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 11% per year over five years. 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. Shareholders might want to examine this detailed historical graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.

We will like Leaf Resources better if we see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, insider buying.

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.