Did You Manage To Avoid Baytex Energy’s (TSE:BTE) 96% Share Price Wipe Out?

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Some stocks are best avoided. We don’t wish catastrophic capital loss on anyone. Spare a thought for those who held Baytex Energy Corp. (TSE:BTE) for five whole years – as the share price tanked 96%. And we doubt long term believers are the only worried holders, since the stock price has declined 55% over the last twelve months. The falls have accelerated recently, with the share price down 13% in the last three months.

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.

See our latest analysis for Baytex Energy

Baytex Energy 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. Some companies are willing to postpone profitability to grow revenue faster, but in that case one does expect good top-line growth.

In the last five years Baytex Energy saw its revenue shrink by 8.0% per year. While far from catastrophic that is not good. If a business loses money, you want it to grow, so no surprises that the share price has dropped 47% each year in that time. It takes a certain kind of mental fortitude (or recklessness) to buy shares in a company that loses money and doesn’t grow revenue. That is not really what the successful investors we know aim for.

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

TSX:BTE Income Statement, June 26th 2019
TSX:BTE Income Statement, June 26th 2019

We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Even so, future earnings will be far more important to whether current shareholders make money. If you are thinking of buying or selling Baytex Energy stock, you should check out this free report showing analyst profit forecasts.

A Different Perspective

While the broader market gained around 1.2% in the last year, Baytex Energy shareholders lost 55%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Regrettably, last year’s performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 46% 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. 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.

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 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.