Update: Altech Chemicals (ASX:ATC) Stock Gained 44% In The Last Three Years

One simple way to benefit from the stock market is to buy an index fund. But if you choose individual stocks with prowess, you can make superior returns. For example, the Altech Chemicals Limited (ASX:ATC) share price is up 44% in the last three years, clearly besting than the market return of around 19% (not including dividends).

Check out our latest analysis for Altech Chemicals

Altech Chemicals hasn’t yet reported any revenue yet, so it’s as much a business idea as a business. So it seems shareholders are too busy dreaming about the progress to come than dwelling on the current (lack of) revenue. For example, investors may be hoping that Altech Chemicals finds some valuable resources, before it runs out of money.

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 companies like this go on to deliver on their plan, making good money for shareholders, many end in painful losses and eventual de-listing.

Altech Chemicals had net cash of just AU$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 13% per year, over 3 years, despite the weak balance sheet. The image belows shows how Altech Chemicals’s balance sheet has changed over time; if you want to see the precise values, simply click on the image.

ASX:ATC Historical Debt, March 22nd 2019
ASX:ATC Historical Debt, March 22nd 2019

Of course, the truth is that it is hard to value companies without much revenue or profit. 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

Investors in Altech Chemicals had a tough year, with a total loss of 24%, against a market gain of about 7.5%. 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 5.4% per year over half a decade. It could be that the recent sell-off is an opportunity, so it may be worth checking the fundamental data for signs of a long term growth trend. If you would like to research Altech Chemicals in more detail then you might want to take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in the company.

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.

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.