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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 Silver Predator Corp. (CVE:SPD), who have seen the share price tank a massive 80% over a three year period. That would certainly shake our confidence in the decision to own the stock.
Silver Predator didn't have any revenue in the last year, so it's fair to say it doesn't yet have a proven product (or at least not one people are paying for). 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 Silver Predator will find or develop a valuable new mine before too long.
Companies that lack both meaningful revenue and profits are usually considered high risk. 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. It certainly is a dangerous place to invest, as Silver Predator investors might realise.
When it last reported its balance sheet in March 2019, Silver Predator had cash in excess of all liabilities of CA$282k. That's not too bad but management may have to think about raising capital or taking on debt, unless the company is close to breaking even. We'd venture that shareholders are concerned about the need for more capital, because the share price has dropped 42% per year, over 3 years. The image below shows how Silver Predator's balance sheet has changed over time; if you want to see the precise values, simply click on the image.
Of course, the truth is that it is hard to value companies without much revenue or profit. What if insiders are ditching the stock hand over fist? I would feel more nervous about the company if that were so. It costs nothing but a moment of your time to see if we are picking up on any insider selling.
A Different Perspective
Investors in Silver Predator had a tough year, with a total loss of 18%, against a market gain of about 0.3%. Even the share prices of good stocks drop sometimes, but we want to see improvements in the fundamental metrics of a business, before getting too interested. However, the loss over the last year isn't as bad as the 25% per annum loss investors have suffered over the last half decade. We would want clear information suggesting the company will grow, before taking the view that the share price will stabilize. Most investors take the time to check the data on insider transactions. You can click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling.
If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on CA 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.