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If You Had Bought Cardinal Energy (TSE:CJ) Stock Five Years Ago, You'd Be Sitting On A 87% Loss, Today

Simply Wall St

Some stocks are best avoided. It hits us in the gut when we see fellow investors suffer a loss. Anyone who held Cardinal Energy Ltd. (TSE:CJ) for five years would be nursing their metaphorical wounds since the share price dropped 87% in that time. And we doubt long term believers are the only worried holders, since the stock price has declined 52% over the last twelve months. On top of that, the share price has dropped a further 12% in a month.

While a drop like that is definitely a body blow, money isn't as important as health and happiness.

View our latest analysis for Cardinal Energy

While the efficient markets hypothesis continues to be taught by some, it has been proven that markets are over-reactive dynamic systems, and investors are not always rational. One flawed but reasonable way to assess how sentiment around a company has changed is to compare the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price.

Cardinal Energy became profitable within the last five years. That would generally be considered a positive, so we are surprised to see the share price is down. Other metrics might give us a better handle on how its value is changing over time.

The most recent dividend was actually lower than it was in the past, so that may have sent the share price lower.

The graphic below depicts how earnings and revenue have changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).

TSX:CJ Income Statement, October 11th 2019

We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. So it makes a lot of sense to check out what analysts think Cardinal Energy will earn in the future (free profit forecasts).

What About Dividends?

It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. The TSR incorporates the value of any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings, along with any dividends, based on the assumption that the dividends are reinvested. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. We note that for Cardinal Energy the TSR over the last 5 years was -82%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!

A Different Perspective

Investors in Cardinal Energy had a tough year, with a total loss of 49% (including dividends) , against a market gain of about 4.8%. 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 29% 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. Investors who like to make money usually check up on insider purchases, such as the price paid, and total amount bought. You can find out about the insider purchases of Cardinal Energy by clicking this link.

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.