Some Ora Gold (ASX:OAU) Shareholders Have Taken A Painful 85% Share Price Drop

Simply Wall St

Long term investing is the way to go, but that doesn't mean you should hold every stock forever. We really hate to see fellow investors lose their hard-earned money. Spare a thought for those who held Ora Gold Limited (ASX:OAU) for five whole years - as the share price tanked 85%.

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 Ora Gold

With just AU$17,349 worth of revenue in twelve months, we don't think the market considers Ora Gold to have proven its business plan. 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). For example, investors may be hoping that Ora Gold finds some valuable resources, before it runs out of money.

We think companies that have neither significant revenues nor profits are pretty high risk. 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 such companies go on to make revenue, profits, and generate value, others get hyped up by hopeful naifs before eventually going bankrupt. It certainly is a dangerous place to invest, as Ora Gold investors might realise.

Ora Gold had liabilities exceeding cash by AU$1.6m when it last reported in September 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. The image below shows how Ora Gold's balance sheet has changed over time; if you want to see the precise values, simply click on the image.

ASX:OAU Historical Debt March 31st 2020

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? It would bother me, that's for sure. You can click here to see if there are insiders selling.

A Different Perspective

It's good to see that Ora Gold has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 11% in the last twelve months. There's no doubt those recent returns are much better than the TSR loss of 31% per year over five years. The long term loss makes us cautious, but the short term TSR gain certainly hints at a brighter future. While it is well worth considering the different impacts that market conditions can have on the share price, there are other factors that are even more important. To that end, you should learn about the 6 warning signs we've spotted with Ora Gold (including 4 which is make us uncomfortable) .

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.

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.

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. Thank you for reading.