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Those Who Purchased St. Augustine Gold and Copper (TSE:SAU) Shares Five Years Ago Have A 85% Loss To Show For It

Simply Wall St

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Long term investing is the way to go, but that doesn't mean you should hold every stock forever. It hits us in the gut when we see fellow investors suffer a loss. Anyone who held St. Augustine Gold and Copper Limited (TSE:SAU) for five years would be nursing their metaphorical wounds since the share price dropped 85% in that time.

We really hope anyone holding through that price crash has a diversified portfolio. Even when you lose money, you don't have to lose the lesson.

View our latest analysis for St. Augustine Gold and Copper

With zero revenue generated over twelve months, we don't think that St. Augustine Gold and Copper has proved its business plan yet. You have to wonder why venture capitalists aren't funding it. 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 St. Augustine Gold and Copper 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 such companies do very well over the long term, others become hyped up by promoters before eventually falling back down to earth, and going bankrupt (or being recapitalized). It certainly is a dangerous place to invest, as St. Augustine Gold and Copper investors might realise.

St. Augustine Gold and Copper had liabilities exceeding cash by US$5,430,107 when it last reported in March 2019, according to our data. That puts it in the highest risk category, according to our analysis. But since the share price has dived -31% per year, over 5 years, it looks like some investors think it's time to abandon ship, so to speak. You can see in the image below, how St. Augustine Gold and Copper's cash levels have changed over time (click to see the values). The image below shows how St. Augustine Gold and Copper's balance sheet has changed over time; if you want to see the precise values, simply click on the image.

TSX:SAU Historical Debt, July 19th 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? 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 St. Augustine Gold and Copper had a tough year, with a total loss of 20%, against a market gain of about 0.7%. 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 31% 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. You could get a better understanding of St. Augustine Gold and Copper's growth by checking out this more detailed historical graph of earnings, revenue and cash flow.

Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of companies we expect will grow earnings.

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on CA 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.