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We're definitely into long term investing, but some companies are simply bad investments over any time frame. We don't wish catastrophic capital loss on anyone. For example, we sympathize with anyone who was caught holding Northern Oil and Gas, Inc. (NYSEMKT:NOG) during the five years that saw its share price drop a whopping 93%. And we doubt long term believers are the only worried holders, since the stock price has declined 77% over the last twelve months. Furthermore, it's down 74% in about a quarter. That's not much fun for holders. We note that the company has reported results fairly recently; and the market is hardly delighted. You can check out the latest numbers in our company report.
We really hope anyone holding through that price crash has a diversified portfolio. Even when you lose money, you don't have to lose the lesson.
Northern Oil and Gas isn't currently profitable, so most analysts would look to revenue growth to get an idea of how fast the underlying business is growing. 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 half decade, Northern Oil and Gas saw its revenue increase by 19% 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 41% each year, in the same time period. You'd have to assume the market is worried that profits won't come soon enough. We'd recommend carefully checking for indications of future growth - and balance sheet threats - before considering a purchase.
The image below shows how earnings and revenue have tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
It's good to see that there was some significant insider buying in the last three months. That's a positive. On the other hand, we think the revenue and earnings trends are much more meaningful measures of the business. This free report showing analyst forecasts should help you form a view on Northern Oil and Gas
A Different Perspective
While the broader market lost about 12% in the twelve months, Northern Oil and Gas shareholders did even worse, losing 77%. Having said that, it's inevitable that some stocks will be oversold in a falling market. The key is to keep your eyes on the fundamental developments. Regrettably, last year's performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 41% per year over five years. 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. While it is well worth considering the different impacts that market conditions can have on the share price, there are other factors that are even more important. Even so, be aware that Northern Oil and Gas is showing 3 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 1 of those is a bit unpleasant...
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.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.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.
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. Thank you for reading.