Introducing White Rock Minerals (ASX:WRM), The Stock That Tanked 88%

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. For example, we sympathize with anyone who was caught holding White Rock Minerals Ltd (ASX:WRM) during the five years that saw its share price drop a whopping 88%. And some of the more recent buyers are probably worried, too, with the stock falling 40% in the last year.

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 White Rock Minerals

White Rock Minerals recorded just AU$775,591 in revenue over the last twelve months, which isn’t really enough for us to consider it to have a proven product. We can’t help wondering why it’s publicly listed so early in its journey. Are venture capitalists not interested? As a result, we think it’s unlikely shareholders are paying much attention to current revenue, but rather speculating on growth in the years to come. It seems likely some shareholders believe that White Rock Minerals 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. 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. White Rock Minerals has already given some investors a taste of the bitter losses that high risk investing can cause.

White Rock Minerals had liabilities exceeding cash by AU$869k when it last reported in December 2019, according to our data. That makes it extremely high risk, in our view. But since the share price has dived -35% 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 White Rock Minerals’s cash levels have changed over time (click to see the values).

ASX:WRM Historical Debt, March 19th 2020
ASX:WRM Historical Debt, March 19th 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? I would feel more nervous about the company if that were so. It only takes a moment for you to check whether we have identified any insider sales recently.

A Different Perspective

While the broader market lost about 18% in the twelve months, White Rock Minerals shareholders did even worse, losing 40%. However, it could simply be that the share price has been impacted by broader market jitters. It might be worth keeping an eye on the fundamentals, in case there’s a good opportunity. Regrettably, last year’s performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 35% per year over five years. We realise that Baron Rothschild has said investors should “buy when there is blood on the streets”, but we caution that investors should first be sure they are buying a high quality business. 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. Take risks, for example – White Rock Minerals has 6 warning signs (and 3 which can’t be ignored) we think you should know about.

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.

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.