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3 ASX tech losers I’d give a wide berth

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If we want to find the next Altium Limited (ASX: ALU) or Cochlear Limited (ASX: COH) it pays to do a lot of research.

Obviously, and perhaps unfortunately, not every company can scale the same heights as Altium or Cochlear.

And, with so many tech stocks on the ASX boards, it can get a bit difficult to keep up, let alone determine the good from the bad.

But here are three we can all learn something from.

Reffind Ltd (ASX: RFN)

Reffind has proven be a thoroughly disappointing ASX tech stock for many of the company’s shareholders.

Reffind promised big things when it listed on the ASX in July 2015.

The company has two products targeting the talent acquisition and human resources space.

The REFFIND App, a mobile platform, “helps businesses to recruit, engage and communicate with their employees”.

And its WooBoard is a peer-to-peer recognition platform which “encourages employees to acknowledge and celebrate great work by their colleagues”.

Reffind’s share price shot up to $1.57 in October 2015.

But the company embarked on a process of spending that looked unsustainable to many.

When investors started thinking the maths didn’t add up, they dumped their Reffind stock and the company’s shares are now trading at under 3 cents.

Can Reffind re-find its mojo?

It’s unlikely.

Even one of the company’s directors, Timothy Shaw, appears to have lost faith in Reffind’s potential to lift its share price having last month sold off 6.75 million shares in the company at 2 cents a pop.

Stargroup Limited (ASX: STL)

Stargroup designs, manufactures, sells and operates ATMs and other banking equipment.

In late 2007, Stargroup’s shares were trading at around $1.

But this month Stargroup Ltd announced that receivers and managers were appointed to the company and three of its subsidiaries, including Star Payment Systems Pty Ltd, Stargroup Investments Ltd and Star ATM Pty Ltd.

In a related announcement, Goldfields Money Limited (ASX: GMY) stated that it would continue to provide bailment services to Stargroup based on a reduction in the facility limited from $30 million to $10 million.

Stargroup hoped to pump out lots of cash.

For many investors it turned into a financial black hole.

Robo 3D Ltd (ASX: RBO)

Compared to the two above, Robo 3D is a success story.

But for many of the 3D printing company’s investors it’s proven a disappointing venture.

Robo 3D’s share price was trading at above $2.20 in early 2008.

Today, Robo’s shares are going for around 4.6 cents.

But it’s not all doom and gloom for Robo’s shareholders.

The company announced this month that it had achieved a record monthly revenue of $1.3 million for October, more than 30 per cent higher than its previous monthly record.

Robo also stated that it will surpass its full-year revenue for financial year (FY) 2017 of $3.2 million within the first half of FY 2018.

All that means Robo might be worth keeping an eye on but I certainly won’t be recommending it at this stage.

And while it’s clear that not every ASX tech company can mimic the success of Altium or Cochlear, even the most unfortunate ASX tech stories can provide valuable lessons.

It is clear that keeping an eye on investments is critical and thorough research pays.

If you want to learn more about ASX tech shares, you can check this out…

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Motley Fool contributor Steve Holland has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Altium. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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