Can Monitise Plc (-91%), Enquest Plc (-66%) & Lonmin Plc (-95%) Recover?

How many times have you seen a share price fall 70%, 80%, 90% or more in a year and thought it an obvious dead duck? I see it happening all the time, yet the punters out there must be split 50/50 — if everyone shared my bearish stance, the price would already be down to zero.

But one company I really don’t see any way back for is Monitise (LSE: MONI), whose shares are down 91% from their 12-month high set in late November 2014, to just 2.9p today, and there are no profits on the horizon yet. And if we go back a bit further, to February 2014, we see a subsequent fall of 96%.

Back then, as an early mover in the electronics payment business, Monitise was looking like a very promising prospect — the market was sure to skyrocket, and Monitise had a very strong partner in Visa Europe. But since then, Visa has lost interest and founder Alistair Lukies has moved on, as has subsequent CEO Elizabeth Buse.

Meanwhile, everywhere I look I see signs saying “Apple Pay accepted here”. Only last month Monitise signed a new deal with Telefónica, so there is some hope — but in the longer term it’s fighting what I can only see as a losing battle here.

Oil slump continues

Oil explorers are facing an increasingly bleak outlook, if oil prices are anything to go by — Brent Crude has slipped below $45 to hit new lows, after its two-month mini rally has come to an end. And while that’s bad news for the big companies, it’s worse for small explorers like Enquest (LSE: ENQ). Enquest shares have fallen 66% in almost exactly a year, to 24p, and by a whopping 83% since June 2014.

The upside for Enquest is that it is actually profitable, although EPS is expected to fall a long way this year and even turn negative in 2016. But against that, Enquest reported first oil from its Alma/Galia exploration last month, and its longer-term operational position actually doesn’t sound too bad.

At the interim stage reported in August, the firm told us it was on target for operational expenses of around $38 per barrel this year, falling to the low $30 range next year. That sounds good enough to survive low oil for a while longer, I reckon.

Shiny stuff

The commodities slump has hit platinum miner Lonmin (LSE: LMI) harder than most, and its share price has crashed by 95% from last November’s peak, and by 99% in five years. But at just 10p today, does that offer a big chance of success for recovery investors?

Sadly, I doubt it. Although Lonmin has been profitable in the past, we’ve seen pre-tax losses in the past two years — with the year just ended in September being especially painful, although it has been a year of modernisation at the company’s old-fashioned and labour-intensive mines. But with the costs of all that leading to net debt of $185m at the end of September, a $407m rights issue has been needed to bolster finances, together with the negotiation of $370m in bank lending facilities.

Not for me.

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Alan Oscroft has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK owns shares of Monitise. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.