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This month, we saw the Cardinal Energy Ltd. (TSE:CJ) up an impressive 90%. But that doesn't change the fact that the returns over the last half decade have been stomach churning. Five years have seen the share price descend precipitously, down a full 91%. The recent bounce might mean the long decline is over, but we are not confident. The million dollar question is whether the company can justify a long term recovery.
While a drop like that is definitely a body blow, money isn't as important as health and happiness.
Because Cardinal Energy made a loss in the last twelve months, we think the market is probably more focussed on revenue and revenue growth, at least for now. When a company doesn't make profits, we'd generally expect to see good revenue growth. That's because it's hard to be confident a company will be sustainable if revenue growth is negligible, and it never makes a profit.
Over five years, Cardinal Energy grew its revenue at 13% per year. That's a pretty good rate for a long time period. So it is unexpected to see the stock down 14% per year in the last five years. The market can be a harsh master when your company is losing money and revenue growth disappoints.
You can see below how earnings and revenue have changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Even so, future earnings will be far more important to whether current shareholders make money. This free report showing analyst forecasts should help you form a view on Cardinal Energy
What about the Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?
Investors should note that there's a difference between Cardinal Energy's total shareholder return (TSR) and its share price change, which we've covered above. The TSR attempts to capture the value of dividends (as if they were reinvested) as well as any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings offered to shareholders. Cardinal Energy's TSR of was a loss of 88% for the 5 years. That wasn't as bad as its share price return, because it has paid dividends.
A Different Perspective
Cardinal Energy shareholders are down 66% for the year, but the market itself is up 5.7%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Regrettably, last year's performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 14% per year over five years. Generally speaking long term share price weakness can be a bad sign, though contrarian investors might want to research the stock in hope of a turnaround. I find it very interesting to look at share price over the long term as a proxy for business performance. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. Even so, be aware that Cardinal Energy is showing 3 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 1 of those is potentially serious...
Cardinal Energy is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with insider buying.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on CA exchanges.
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. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
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