It is doubtless a positive to see that the Katoro Gold plc (LON:KAT) share price has gained some 63% in the last three months. But that is minimal compensation for the share price under-performance over the last year. After all, the share price is down 50% in the last year, significantly under-performing the market.
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Katoro Gold hasn't yet reported any revenue yet, so it's as much a business idea as an actual business. We can't help wondering why it's publicly listed so early in its journey. Are venture capitalists not interested? 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 Katoro 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. There is usually a significant chance that they will need more money for business development, putting them at the mercy of capital markets. So the share price itself impacts the value of the shares (as it determines the cost of capital). 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).
When it reported in June 2018 Katoro Gold had minimal cash in excess of all liabilities consider its expenditure: just UK£255k to be specific. So if it has not already moved to replenish reserves, we think the near-term chances of a capital raising event are pretty high. With that in mind, you can understand why the share price dropped 50% in the last year. You can see in the image below, how Katoro Gold's cash levels have changed over time (click to see the values).
It can be extremely risky to invest in a company that doesn't even have revenue. There's no way to know its value easily. What if insiders are ditching the stock hand over fist? It would bother me, that's for sure. It costs nothing but a moment of your time to see if we are picking up on any insider selling.
A Different Perspective
We doubt Katoro Gold shareholders are happy with the loss of 50% over twelve months. That falls short of the market, which lost 1.1%. There's no doubt that's a disappointment, but the stock may well have fared better in a stronger market. Putting aside the last twelve months, it's good to see the share price has rebounded by 63%, in the last ninety days. Let's just hope this isn't the widely-feared 'dead cat bounce' (which would indicate further declines to come). You might want to assess this data-rich visualization of its earnings, revenue and cash flow.
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 GB exchanges.
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