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Did Changing Sentiment Drive Kelt Exploration's (TSE:KEL) Share Price Down A Worrying 58%?

Simply Wall St

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While it may not be enough for some shareholders, we think it is good to see the Kelt Exploration Ltd. (TSE:KEL) share price up 15% in a single quarter. But don't envy holders -- looking back over 5 years the returns have been really bad. In that time the share price has delivered a rude shock to holders, who find themselves down 58% after a long stretch. So we're hesitant to put much weight behind the short term increase. We'd err towards caution given the long term under-performance.

View our latest analysis for Kelt Exploration

Given that Kelt Exploration only made minimal earnings in the last twelve months, we'll focus on revenue to gauge its business development. Generally speaking, we'd consider a stock like this alongside loss-making companies, simply because the quantum of the profit is so low. For shareholders to have confidence a company will grow profits significantly, it must grow revenue.

Over five years, Kelt Exploration grew its revenue at 23% per year. That's well above most other pre-profit companies. Unfortunately for shareholders the share price has dropped 16% per year - disappointing considering the growth. This could mean high expectations have been tempered, potentially because investors are looking to the bottom line. Given the revenue growth we'd consider the stock to be quite an interesting prospect if the company has a clear path to profitability.

Depicted in the graphic below, you'll see revenue and earnings over time. If you want more detail, you can click on the chart itself.

TSX:KEL Income Statement, April 8th 2019

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. So we recommend checking out this free report showing consensus forecasts

A Different Perspective

Investors in Kelt Exploration had a tough year, with a total loss of 25%, against a market gain of about 8.4%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. 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. It is all well and good that insiders have been buying shares, but we suggest you check here to see what price insiders were buying at.

If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on CA 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.