Imagine Owning Papyrus Australia (ASX:PPY) While The Price Tanked 58%

Simply Wall St

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Papyrus Australia Limited (ASX:PPY) shareholders should be happy to see the share price up 25% in the last week. But don't envy holders -- looking back over 5 years the returns have been really bad. Indeed, the share price is down 58% in the period. Some might say the recent bounce is to be expected after such a bad drop. However, in the best case scenario (far from fait accompli), this improved performance might be sustained.

Check out our latest analysis for Papyrus Australia

Papyrus Australia hasn't yet reported any revenue yet, 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. Investors will be hoping that Papyrus Australia can make progress and gain better traction for the business, before it runs low on cash.

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 such companies do very well over the long term, others become hyped up by promoters before eventually falling back down to earth, and going bankrupt (or being recapitalized). It certainly is a dangerous place to invest, as Papyrus Australia investors might realise.

Papyrus Australia had liabilities exceeding cash by AU$885,435 when it last reported in December 2018, according to our data. That makes it extremely high risk, in our view. But since the share price has dived -16% per year, over 5 years, it looks like some investors think it's time to abandon ship, so to speak. The image below shows how Papyrus Australia's balance sheet has changed over time; if you want to see the precise values, simply click on the image.

ASX:PPY Historical Debt, June 18th 2019

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. What if insiders are ditching the stock hand over fist? It would bother me, that's for sure. You can click here to see if there are insiders selling.

A Different Perspective

Papyrus Australia shareholders are down 29% for the year, but the market itself is up 12%. 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. Unfortunately, last year's performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it was worse than the annualised loss of 16% 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. You could get a better understanding of Papyrus Australia's growth by checking out this more detailed historical graph of earnings, revenue and cash flow.

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 AU 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 editorial-team@simplywallst.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.