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In order to justify the effort of selecting individual stocks, it's worth striving to beat the returns from a market index fund. But every investor is virtually certain to have both over-performing and under-performing stocks. So we wouldn't blame long term Cobra Venture Corporation (CVE:CBV) shareholders for doubting their decision to hold, with the stock down 48% over a half decade. And some of the more recent buyers are probably worried, too, with the stock falling 26% in the last year.
We don't think Cobra Venture's revenue of CA$919,816 is enough to establish significant demand. 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 Cobra Venture 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.
Cobra Venture has plenty of cash in the bank, with cash in excess of all liabilities sitting at CA$1.7m, when it last reported (February 2019). This gives management the flexibility to drive business growth, without worrying too much about cash reserves. But with the share price diving 12% per year, over 5 years, it could be that the price was previously too hyped up. You can see in the image below, how Cobra Venture's cash levels have changed over time (click to see the values).
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. You can click here to see if there are insiders selling.
A Different Perspective
Cobra Venture shareholders are down 26% for the year, but the market itself is up 2.2%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Unfortunately, last year's performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it was worse than the annualised loss of 12% over the last half decade. We realise that Buffett has said investors should 'buy when there is blood on the streets', but we caution that investors should first be sure they are buying a high quality businesses. Shareholders might want to examine this detailed historical graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.
Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of companies we expect will grow earnings.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on CA exchanges.
We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.
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.