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If You Had Bought Hess (NYSE:HES) Stock Five Years Ago, You'd Be Sitting On A 29% Loss, Today

Simply Wall St

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It is doubtless a positive to see that the Hess Corporation (NYSE:HES) share price has gained some 49% in the last three months. But over the last half decade, the stock has not performed well. You would have done a lot better buying an index fund, since the stock has dropped 29% in that half decade.

See our latest analysis for Hess

Because Hess is loss-making, we think the market is probably more focussed on revenue and revenue growth, at least for now. Generally speaking, companies without profits are expected to grow revenue every year, and at a good clip. That's because fast revenue growth can be easily extrapolated to forecast profits, often of considerable size.

In the last five years Hess saw its revenue shrink by 18% per year. That's definitely a weaker result than most pre-profit companies report. On the face of it we'd posit the share price fall of 6.7% compound, over five years is well justified by the fundamental deterioration. This loss means the stock shareholders are probably pretty annoyed. It is possible for businesses to bounce back but as Buffett says, 'turnarounds seldom turn'.

The chart below shows how revenue and earnings have changed with time, (if you click on the chart you can see the actual values).

NYSE:HES Income Statement, March 31st 2019

It's good to see that there was some significant insider buying in the last three months. That's a positive. That said, we think earnings and revenue growth trends are even more important factors to consider. So it makes a lot of sense to check out what analysts think Hess 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 Hess the TSR over the last 5 years was -23%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.

A Different Perspective

We're pleased to report that Hess shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 21% over one year. Of course, that includes the dividend. There's no doubt those recent returns are much better than the TSR loss of 5.1% per year over five years. The long term loss makes us cautious, but the short term TSR gain certainly hints at a brighter future. 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.

There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. You probably do not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.

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