By buying an index fund, investors can approximate the average market return. But if you choose individual stocks with prowess, you can make superior returns. For example, the North Energy ASA (OB:NORTH) share price is up 79% in the last three years, clearly besting than the market return of around 35% (not including dividends). On the other hand, the returns haven’t been quite so good recently, with shareholders up just 14%.
North Energy recorded just øre961,000 in revenue over the last twelve months, which isn’t really enough for us to consider it to have a proven product. So it seems that the investors more focused on would could be, than paying attention to the current revenues (or lack thereof). For example, they may be hoping that North Energy finds fossil fuels with an exploration program, before it runs out of money.
Companies that lack both meaningful revenue and profits are usually considered 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 companies like this go on to deliver on their plan, making good money for shareholders, many end in painful losses and eventual de-listing. Some North Energy investors have already had a taste of the sweet taste stocks like this can leave in the mouth, as they gain popularity and attract speculative capital
North Energy had net cash of øre244m when it last reported (December 2018). While that’s nothing to panic about, there is some possibility the company will raise more capital, especially if profits are not imminent. With the share price up 21% per year, over 3 years, the market is seems hopeful about the potential, despite the cash burn. You can see in the image below, how North Energy’s cash and debt 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. 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. Luckily we are in a position to provide you with this free chart of insider buying (and selling).
What About Dividends?
It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. The TSR is a return calculation that accounts for the value of cash dividends (assuming that any dividend received was reinvested) and the calculated value of any discounted capital raisings and spin-offs. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. In the case of North Energy, it has a TSR of 96% for the last 3 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.
A Different Perspective
It’s good to see that North Energy has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 14% in the last twelve months. And that does include the dividend. Notably the five-year annualised TSR loss of 14% per year compares very unfavourably with the recent share price performance. We generally put more weight on the long term performance over the short term, but the recent improvement could hint at a (positive) inflection point within the business. Before spending more time on North Energy it might be wise to click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling shares.
If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on NO exchanges.
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If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.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.