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Imagine Owning Oil States International (NYSE:OIS) And Trying To Stomach The 81% Share Price Drop

Simply Wall St

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Oil States International, Inc. (NYSE:OIS) shareholders should be happy to see the share price up 25% in the last month. But don't envy holders -- looking back over 5 years the returns have been really bad. In fact, the share price has declined rather badly, down some 81% in that time. So we're hesitant to put much weight behind the short term increase. But it could be that the fall was overdone.

We really feel for shareholders in this scenario. It's a good reminder of the importance of diversification, and it's worth keeping in mind there's more to life than money, anyway.

View our latest analysis for Oil States International

Oil States International isn't a profitable company, so it is unlikely we'll see a strong correlation between its share price and its earnings per share (EPS). Arguably revenue is our next best option. Shareholders of unprofitable companies usually expect strong 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 half a decade Oil States International reduced its trailing twelve month revenue by 20% for each year. That puts it in an unattractive cohort, to put it mildly. So it's not that strange that the share price dropped 28% per year in that period. We don't think this is a particularly promising picture. Ironically, that behavior could create an opportunity for the contrarian investor - but only if there are good reasons to predict a brighter future.

The graphic below shows how revenue and earnings have changed as management guided the business forward. If you want to see cashflow, you can click on the chart.

NYSE:OIS Income Statement, April 9th 2019

Oil States International is well known by investors, and plenty of clever analysts have tried to predict the future profit levels. So we recommend checking out this free report showing consensus forecasts

What about the Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?

We've already covered Oil States International's share price action, but we should also mention its total shareholder return (TSR). Arguably the TSR is a more complete return calculation because it accounts for the value of dividends (as if they were reinvested), along with the hypothetical value of any discounted capital that have been offered to shareholders. We note that Oil States International's TSR, at -66% is higher than its share price return of -81%. When you consider it hasn't been paying a dividend, this data suggests shareholders have benefitted from a spin-off, or had the opportunity to acquire attractively priced shares in a discounted capital raising.

A Different Perspective

Investors in Oil States International had a tough year, with a total loss of 35%, against a market gain of about 12%. Even the share prices of good stocks drop sometimes, but we want to see improvements in the fundamental metrics of a business, before getting too interested. Regrettably, last year's performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 19% per year over five years. 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. If you would like to research Oil States International in more detail then you might want to take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in the company.

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 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.