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Easy Come, Easy Go: How Birchcliff Energy (TSE:BIR) Shareholders Got Unlucky And Saw 77% Of Their Cash Evaporate

Simply Wall St

We're definitely into long term investing, but some companies are simply bad investments over any time frame. We don't wish catastrophic capital loss on anyone. Anyone who held Birchcliff Energy Ltd. (TSE:BIR) for five years would be nursing their metaphorical wounds since the share price dropped 77% in that time. We also note that the stock has performed poorly over the last year, with the share price down 52%. Furthermore, it's down 25% in about a quarter. That's not much fun for holders.

View our latest analysis for Birchcliff Energy

To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it's a weighing machine. By comparing earnings per share (EPS) and share price changes over time, we can get a feel for how investor attitudes to a company have morphed over time.

During five years of share price growth, Birchcliff Energy moved from a loss to profitability. Most would consider that to be a good thing, so it's counter-intuitive to see the share price declining. Other metrics might give us a better handle on how its value is changing over time.

The steady dividend doesn't really explain why the share price is down. It's not immediately clear to us why the stock price is down but further research might provide some answers.

The image below shows how earnings and revenue have tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).

TSX:BIR Income Statement, August 4th 2019

It's good to see that there was some significant insider buying in the last three months. That's a positive. On the other hand, we think the revenue and earnings trends are much more meaningful measures of the business. If you are thinking of buying or selling Birchcliff Energy stock, you should check out this free report showing analyst profit forecasts.

A Different Perspective

While the broader market lost about 0.3% in the twelve months, Birchcliff Energy shareholders did even worse, losing 51% (even including dividends). However, it could simply be that the share price has been impacted by broader market jitters. It might be worth keeping an eye on the fundamentals, in case there's a good opportunity. Unfortunately, last year's performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it was worse than the annualised loss of 25% over the last half decade. 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. 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.

Birchcliff 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.

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.