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Wish You Were Here: How Lithium Chile (CVE:LITH) Shareholders Made A Stonking Gain Of 1733%

Simply Wall St

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Investing can be hard but the potential fo an individual stock to pay off big time inspires us. You won't get it right every time, but when you do, the returns can be truly splendid. One such superstar is Lithium Chile Inc. (CVE:LITH), which saw its share price soar 1733% in three years.

Anyone who held for that rewarding ride would probably be keen to talk about it.

Check out our latest analysis for Lithium Chile

We don't think Lithium Chile's revenue of CA$98,380 is enough to establish significant demand. 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 Lithium Chile will find or develop a valuable new mine before too long.

We think companies that have neither significant revenues nor profits are pretty high risk. There is usually a significant chance that they will need more money for business development, putting them at the mercy of capital markets. So the share price itself impacts the value of the shares (as it determines the cost of capital). 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). Lithium Chile has already given some investors a taste of the sweet gains that high risk investing can generate, if your timing is right.

Lithium Chile had net cash of just CA$2.5m 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. It's a testament to the popularity of the business plan that the share price gained 164% per year, over 3 years, despite the weak balance sheet. The image below shows how Lithium Chile's balance sheet has changed over time; if you want to see the precise values, simply click on the image.

TSXV:LITH Historical Debt, May 7th 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. However you can take a look at whether insiders have been buying up shares. It's usually a positive if they have, as it may indicate they see value in the stock. You can click here to see if there are insiders buying.

A Different Perspective

While the broader market gained around 4.6% in the last year, Lithium Chile shareholders lost 41%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. On the bright side, long term shareholders have made money, with a gain of 65% per year over half a decade. If the fundamental data continues to indicate long term sustainable growth, the current sell-off could be an opportunity worth considering. Shareholders might want to examine this detailed historical graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.

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.

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.