Investors are understandably disappointed when a stock they own declines in value. But it's hard to avoid some disappointing investments when the overall market is down. The Silver Elephant Mining Corp. (TSE:ELEF) is down 90% over three years, but the total shareholder return is 560% once you include the dividend. And that total return actually beats the market return of 48%. And more recent buyers are having a tough time too, with a drop of 46% in the last year. Shareholders have had an even rougher run lately, with the share price down 30% in the last 90 days. We really hope anyone holding through that price crash has a diversified portfolio. Even when you lose money, you don't have to lose the lesson.
So let's have a look and see if the longer term performance of the company has been in line with the underlying business' progress.
Silver Elephant Mining hasn't yet reported any revenue, so it's as much a business idea as an actual business. This state of affairs suggests that venture capitalists won't provide funds on attractive terms. So it seems shareholders are too busy dreaming about the progress to come than dwelling on the current (lack of) revenue. For example, they may be hoping that Silver Elephant Mining finds fossil fuels with an exploration program, before it runs out of money.
We think companies that have neither significant revenues nor profits are pretty high risk. There was already a significant chance that they would need more money for business development, and indeed they recently put themselves at the mercy of capital markets and raised equity. So the share price itself impacts the value of the shares (as it determines the cost of capital). While some such companies go on to make revenue, profits, and generate value, others get hyped up by hopeful naifs before eventually going bankrupt. Silver Elephant Mining has already given some investors a taste of the bitter losses that high risk investing can cause.
Silver Elephant Mining had liabilities exceeding cash when it last reported, according to our data. That made it extremely high risk, in our view. But with the share price diving 24% per year, over 3 years , it's probably fair to say that some shareholders no longer believe the company will succeed or they are worried about dilution with the recent cash injection. The image below shows how Silver Elephant Mining's balance sheet has changed over time; if you want to see the precise values, simply click on the image.
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. Would it bother you if insiders were selling the stock? I would feel more nervous about the company if that were so. 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)?
We'd be remiss not to mention the difference between Silver Elephant Mining's total shareholder return (TSR) and its share price return. 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. Silver Elephant Mining hasn't been paying dividends, but its TSR of 560% exceeds its share price return of -90%, implying it has either spun-off a business, or raised capital at a discount; thereby providing additional value to shareholders.
A Different Perspective
Investors in Silver Elephant Mining had a tough year, with a total loss of 46%, against a market gain of about 8.8%. Even the share prices of good stocks drop sometimes, but we want to see improvements in the fundamental metrics of a business, before getting too interested. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 61%, each year, over five years. If the fundamental data continues to indicate long term sustainable growth, the current sell-off could be an opportunity worth considering. 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 3 warning signs for Silver Elephant Mining (2 make us uncomfortable!) that you should be aware of before investing here.
Silver Elephant Mining is not the only stock that insiders are buying. For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on Canadian exchanges.
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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
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