Some Cenovus Energy (TSE:CVE) Shareholders Have Copped A Big 66% Share Price Drop

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Generally speaking long term investing is the way to go. But along the way some stocks are going to perform badly. Zooming in on an example, the Cenovus Energy Inc. (TSE:CVE) share price dropped 66% in the last half decade. That’s not a lot of fun for true believers. Unfortunately the share price momentum is still quite negative, with prices down 16% in thirty days.

Check out our latest analysis for Cenovus 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).

In the last half decade Cenovus Energy saw its share price fall as its EPS declined below zero. At present it’s hard to make valid comparisons between EPS and the share price. But we would generally expect a lower price, given the situation.

You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).

TSX:CVE Past and Future Earnings, May 29th 2019
TSX:CVE Past and Future Earnings, May 29th 2019

It’s probably worth noting we’ve seen significant insider buying in the last quarter, which we consider a positive. That said, we think earnings and revenue growth trends are even more important factors to consider. Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here..

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 or spin-off. It’s fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. In the case of Cenovus Energy, it has a TSR of -61% 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

Investors in Cenovus Energy had a tough year, with a total loss of 16% (including dividends), against a market gain of about 2.6%. 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. However, the loss over the last year isn’t as bad as the 17% per annum loss investors have suffered over the last half decade. We would want clear information suggesting the company will grow, before taking the view that the share price will stabilize. If you want to research this stock further, the data on insider buying is an obvious place to start. You can click here to see who has been buying shares – and the price they paid.

Cenovus Energy is not the only stock that insiders are buying. For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.

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.