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This week we saw the BlackEarth Minerals NL (ASX:BEM) share price climb by 16%. But that doesn't change the reality of under-performance over the last twelve months. The cold reality is that the stock has dropped 45% in one year, under-performing the market.
We don't think BlackEarth Minerals's revenue of AU$102,666 is enough to establish significant demand. This state of affairs suggests that venture capitalists won't provide funds on attractive terms. 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 BlackEarth Minerals will find or develop a valuable new mine 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 such companies go on to make revenue, profits, and generate value, others get hyped up by hopeful naifs before eventually going bankrupt.
BlackEarth Minerals had cash in excess of all liabilities of just AU$865k when it last reported (December 2018). So if it has not already moved to replenish reserves, we think the near-term chances of a capital raising event are pretty high. That probably explains why the share price is down 45% in the last year. You can see in the image below, how BlackEarth Minerals's cash levels have changed over time (click to see the values).
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'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
Given that the market gained 8.5% in the last year, BlackEarth Minerals shareholders might be miffed that they lost 45%. While the aim is to do better than that, it's worth recalling that even great long-term investments sometimes underperform for a year or more. With the stock down 9.6% over the last three months, the market doesn't seem to believe that the company has solved all its problems. Given the relatively short history of this stock, we'd remain pretty wary until we see some strong business performance. You could get a better understanding of BlackEarth Minerals's growth by checking out this more detailed historical graph of earnings, revenue and cash flow.
If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.