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It is a pleasure to report that the Transocean Ltd. (NYSE:RIG) is up 231% in the last quarter. But that doesn't change the fact that the returns over the last three years have been disappointing. In that time, the share price dropped 62%. So it's good to see it climbing back up. The rise has some hopeful, but turnarounds are often precarious.
Transocean wasn't profitable in the last twelve months, 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. 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.
Over three years, Transocean grew revenue at 6.8% per year. That's not a very high growth rate considering it doesn't make profits. This uninspiring revenue growth has no doubt helped send the share price lower; it dropped 17% during the period. It can be well worth keeping an eye on growth stocks that disappoint the market, because sometimes they re-accelerate. Keep in mind it isn't unusual for good businesses to have a tough time or a couple of uninspiring years.
The company's revenue and earnings (over time) are depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
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. You can see what analysts are predicting for Transocean in this interactive graph of future profit estimates.
A Different Perspective
While the broader market gained around 28% in the last year, Transocean shareholders lost 19%. 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 10% 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. I find it very interesting to look at share price over the long term as a proxy for business performance. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. For instance, we've identified 3 warning signs for Transocean (1 is a bit concerning) that you should be aware of.
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.
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. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
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