The AssetOwl (ASX:AO1) Share Price Is Down 97% So Some Shareholders Are Very Salty

Over the last month the AssetOwl Limited (ASX:AO1) has been much stronger than before, rebounding by 40%. But only the myopic could ignore the astounding decline over three years. In that time the share price has melted like a snowball in the desert, down 97%. So it’s about time shareholders saw some gains. The thing to think about is whether the business has really turned around.

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.

See our latest analysis for AssetOwl

AssetOwl recorded just AU$13,696 in revenue over the last twelve months, which isn’t really enough for us to consider it to have a proven product. This state of affairs suggests that venture capitalists won’t provide funds on attractive terms. 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 AssetOwl will significantly advance the business plan 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). Some AssetOwl investors have already had a taste of the bitterness stocks like this can leave in the mouth.

AssetOwl had cash in excess of all liabilities of just AU$559k when it last reported (June 2019). 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 68% per year, over 3 years . You can click on the image below to see (in greater detail) how AssetOwl’s cash levels have changed over time. The image below shows how AssetOwl’s balance sheet has changed over time; if you want to see the precise values, simply click on the image.

ASX:AO1 Historical Debt, January 16th 2020
ASX:AO1 Historical Debt, January 16th 2020

Of course, the truth is that it is hard to value companies without much revenue or profit. Would it bother you if insiders were selling the stock? I’d like that just about as much as I like to drink milk and fruit juice mixed together. It costs nothing but a moment of your time to see if we are picking up on any insider selling.

What about the Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?

Investors should note that there’s a difference between AssetOwl’s total shareholder return (TSR) and its share price change, which we’ve covered above. Arguably the TSR is a more complete return calculation because it accounts for the value of dividends (as if they were reinvested), along with the hypothetical value of any discounted capital that have been offered to shareholders. AssetOwl hasn’t been paying dividends, but its TSR of -94% exceeds its share price return of -97%, implying it has either spun-off a business, or raised capital at a discount; thereby providing additional value to shareholders.

A Different Perspective

AssetOwl shareholders are down 49% for the year, but the broader market is up 25%. Of course the long term matters more than the short term, and even great stocks will sometimes have a poor year. Unfortunately, the longer term story isn’t pretty, with investment losses running at 61% per year over three years. We would want clear information suggesting the company will grow, before taking the view that the share price will stabilize. I find it very interesting to look at share price over the long term as a proxy for business performance. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. For example, we’ve discovered 7 warning signs for AssetOwl (6 are concerning!) that you should be aware of before investing here.

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.

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