When you buy shares in a company, there is always a risk that the price drops to zero. But if you pick the right business to buy shares in, you can make more than you can lose. For example, the AFC Energy plc (LON:AFC) share price has soared 245% in the last year. Most would be very happy with that, especially in just one year! Better yet, the share price has gained 309% in the last quarter. Unfortunately the longer term returns are not so good, with the stock falling 4.5% in the last three years.
AFC Energy hasn't yet reported any revenue, so it's as much a business idea as an actual business. So it seems that the investors focused more on what could be, than paying attention to the current revenues (or lack thereof). It seems likely some shareholders believe that AFC Energy will significantly advance the business plan before too long.
Companies that lack both meaningful revenue and profits are usually considered 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 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 AFC 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.
AFC Energy had cash in excess of all liabilities of just UK£887k when it last reported (April 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. Given how low on cash the it got, investors must really like its potential for the share price to be up 66% in the last year . You can click on the image below to see (in greater detail) how AFC Energy's cash levels have changed over time. You can click on the image below to see (in greater detail) how AFC Energy's cash levels have changed over time.
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
It's nice to see that AFC Energy shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 245% over the last year. Since the one-year TSR is better than the five-year TSR (the latter coming in at 15% per year), it would seem that the stock's performance has improved in recent times. In the best case scenario, this may hint at some real business momentum, implying that now could be a great time to delve deeper. While it is well worth considering the different impacts that market conditions can have on the share price, there are other factors that are even more important. Be aware that AFC Energy is showing 5 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 3 of those shouldn't be ignored...
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.
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.
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