Did Changing Sentiment Drive Cardinal Energy’s (TSE:CJ) Share Price Down A Painful 86%?

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It’s nice to see the Cardinal Energy Ltd. (TSE:CJ) share price up 15% in a week. But will that repair the damage for the weary investors who have owned this stock as it declined over half a decade? Probably not. In fact, the share price has tumbled down a mountain to land 86% lower after that period. The recent bounce might mean the long decline is over, but we are not confident. The million dollar question is whether the company can justify a long term recovery.

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.

Check out our latest analysis for Cardinal Energy

While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. One way to examine how market sentiment has changed over time is to look at the interaction between a company’s share price and its earnings per share (EPS).

During five years of share price growth, Cardinal Energy moved from a loss to profitability. That would generally be considered a positive, so we are surprised to see the share price is down. Other metrics may better explain the share price move.

The most recent dividend was actually lower than it was in the past, so that may have sent the share price lower.

You can see how revenue and earnings have changed over time in the image below, (click on the chart to see cashflow).

TSX:CJ Income Statement, June 23rd 2019
TSX:CJ Income Statement, June 23rd 2019

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. 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. The TSR is a return calculation that accounts for the value of cash dividends (assuming that any dividend received was reinvested) and the calculated value of any discounted capital raisings and spin-offs. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. As it happens, Cardinal Energy’s TSR for the last 5 years was -80%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.

A Different Perspective

Investors in Cardinal Energy had a tough year, with a total loss of 48% (including dividends), against a market gain of about 0.8%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Unfortunately, last year’s performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it was worse than the annualised loss of 27% 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. 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.

Cardinal Energy is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with insider 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.