Some stocks are best avoided. We really hate to see fellow investors lose their hard-earned money. Anyone who held UK Oil & Gas PLC (LON:UKOG) for five years would be nursing their metaphorical wounds since the share price dropped 81% in that time. And we doubt long term believers are the only worried holders, since the stock price has declined 70% over the last twelve months. Furthermore, it's down 58% in about a quarter. That's not much fun for holders. We note that the company has reported results fairly recently; and the market is hardly delighted. You can check out the latest numbers in our company report.
While a drop like that is definitely a body blow, money isn't as important as health and happiness.
UK Oil & Gas recorded just UK£213,000 in revenue over the last twelve months, which isn't really enough for us to consider it to have a proven product. You have to wonder why venture capitalists aren't funding it. As a result, we think it's unlikely shareholders are paying much attention to current revenue, but rather speculating on growth in the years to come. It seems likely some shareholders believe that UK Oil & Gas will discover or develop fossil fuel before too long.
We think companies that have neither significant revenues nor profits are pretty high risk. We can see that they needed to raise more capital, and took that step recently despite the fact that it would have been dilutive 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. Some UK Oil & Gas investors have already had a taste of the bitterness stocks like this can leave in the mouth.
UK Oil & Gas had liabilities exceeding cash when it last reported, according to our data. That put it in the highest risk category, according to our analysis. But since the share price has dived -28% per year, over 5 years , it looks like some investors think it's time to abandon ship, so to speak, even though the cash reserves look a little better with the capital raising. The image below shows how UK Oil & Gas's balance sheet has changed over time; if you want to see the precise values, simply click on the image.
In reality it's hard to have much certainty when valuing a business that has neither revenue or profit. Would it bother you if insiders were selling the stock? 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 regret to report that UK Oil & Gas shareholders are down 70% for the year. Unfortunately, that's worse than the broader market decline of 15%. Having said that, it's inevitable that some stocks will be oversold in a falling market. The key is to keep your eyes on the fundamental developments. Unfortunately, last year's performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it was worse than the annualised loss of 28% over the last half decade. Generally speaking long term share price weakness can be a bad sign, though contrarian investors might want to research the stock in hope of a turnaround. 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. Case in point: We've spotted 7 warning signs for UK Oil & Gas you should be aware of, and 3 of them are a bit concerning.
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 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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