Its been a year to remember for many LGO Energy (LSE: LGO) shareholders, who have seen the value of their stock rise by more than 500% in 2014.
The acquisition of the Goudron field in Trinidad in 2012 has proved an inspired move by LGOs founder, David Lenigas.
In May this year, LGOs share price was ignited when the firm issued a statement confirming audited proved and probable reserves of 7.2m barrels of oil, with a further 15.9m barrels of contingent resources.
Impressive production growth
Since then, LGO has drilled a series of new production wells, reinvesting all of its cash flow into production, with impressive results.
As of 4 December, group production had risen above 1,250 barrels of oil per day but this figure almost doubled on 15 December, when LGO announced that its most recently completed well, GY-670, was flowing at more than 1,000 bopd.
Two more wells are currently being brought on line, suggesting that group production may be close to 2,500 bopd by the end of the 2014 an increase of more than 100% in just three months.
Is LGO profitable?
LGO chief executive Neil Ritson has made it clear in media interviews that all of the firms cash flow has been reinvested to fund the firms 30-well drilling plan for the Goudron field.
Thats fair enough, but the firms interim accounts for this year showed a substantial operating loss, too, suggesting to me that the company needs to benefit from economies of scale in order to reduce its costs per barrel produced.
In the light of the falling oil price, its not yet clear to me how profitable LGO will be in 2015, as rising production will partially be cancelled out by lower oil prices.
LGO is continuing to drill and making good progress if the firm can find a few more 1,000 bopd wells, its production profile could be transformed in the next year.
However, many of the firms wells produce much less oil, and LGO currently looks quite generously valued to me: the firm has a market cap of more than 110m, but sales for the last twelve months were just 6.8m.
Buy, sell or hold?
Given LGOs generous valuation, the need for significant capex in 2015, plus the risks presented by the falling price of oil, I think its time for investors to lock-in some gains: I rate LGO as a sell.
Of course, you may not agree: one of the key techniques for making big profits by investing in growth stocks is learning to let your winners run.
Taking profits too early can destroy your chances of beating the market.
These techniques — and others — are covered in “10 Steps To Making A Million In The Markets“, a brand-new report from the Motley Fool’s market-beating share tipsters.
This must-read wealth report is completely FREE and carries no obligation.
To receive your copy today, click here now.
Get FREE Issues of The Motley Fool Collective
Get straightforward advice on whats really happening with the stock markets, direct to your inbox. Help yourself with our FREE email newsletter designed to help you protect and grow your portfolio wealth.