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Investors Who Bought Cardinal Energy (TSE:CJ) Shares Five Years Ago Are Now Down 84%

Simply Wall St

Long term investing works well, but it doesn’t always work for each individual stock. We really hate to see fellow investors lose their hard-earned money. Imagine if you held Cardinal Energy Ltd. (TSE:CJ) for half a decade as the share price tanked 84%. And we doubt long term believers are the only worried holders, since the stock price has declined 47% over the last twelve months. The falls have accelerated recently, with the share price down 10% in the last three months.

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

Given that Cardinal Energy didn’t make a profit in the last twelve months, we’ll focus on revenue growth to form a quick view of its business development. Generally speaking, companies without profits are expected to grow revenue every year, and at a good clip. 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 five years, Cardinal Energy grew its revenue at 28% per year. That’s well above most other pre-profit companies. So on the face of it we’re really surprised to see the share price has averaged a fall of 30% each year, in the same time period. You’d have to assume the market is worried that profits won’t come soon enough. While there might be an opportunity here, you’d want to take a close look at the balance sheet strength.

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:CJ Income Statement, March 13th 2019

We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. 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?

When looking at investment returns, it is important to consider the difference between total shareholder return (TSR) and share price return. Whereas the share price return only reflects the change in the share price, the TSR includes the value of dividends (assuming they were reinvested) and the benefit of any discounted capital raising. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. In the case of Cardinal Energy, it has a TSR of -77% for the last 5 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.

A Different Perspective

While the broader market gained around 3.5% in the last year, Cardinal Energy shareholders lost 43% (even including dividends). 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. Unfortunately, last year’s performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it was worse than the annualised loss of 26% 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.

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 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.