If You Had Bought Frontera Energy (TSE:FEC) Stock A Year Ago, You’d Be Sitting On A 40% Loss, Today

Investors can approximate the average market return by buying an index fund. While individual stocks can be big winners, plenty more fail to generate satisfactory returns. Investors in Frontera Energy Corporation (TSE:FEC) have tasted that bitter downside in the last year, as the share price dropped 40%. That falls noticeably short of the market return of around 8.4%. Frontera Energy may have better days ahead, of course; we’ve only looked at a one year period.

See our latest analysis for Frontera Energy

Frontera 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. As you can imagine, fast revenue growth, when maintained, often leads to fast profit growth.

In the last twelve months, Frontera Energy increased its revenue by 5.3%. While that may seem decent it isn’t great considering the company is still making a loss. Given this lacklustre revenue growth, the share price drop of 40% seems pretty appropriate. In a hot market it’s easy to forget growth is the life-blood of a loss making company. So remember, if you buy a profitless company then you risk being a profitless investor.

Depicted in the graphic below, you’ll see revenue and earnings over time. If you want more detail, you can click on the chart itself.

TSX:FEC Income Statement, April 8th 2019
TSX:FEC Income Statement, April 8th 2019

It’s probably worth noting that the CEO is paid less than the median at similar sized companies. It’s always worth keeping an eye on CEO pay, but a more important question is whether the company will grow earnings throughout the years. If you are thinking of buying or selling Frontera Energy stock, you should check out this free report showing analyst profit forecasts.

What About Dividends?

It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. 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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. As it happens, Frontera Energy’s TSR for the last year was -37%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. And there’s no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!

A Different Perspective

While Frontera Energy shareholders are down 37% for the year (even including dividends), the market itself is up 8.4%. While the aim is to do better than that, it’s worth recalling that even great long-term investments sometimes underperform for a year or more. The share price decline has continued throughout the most recent three months, down 7.4%, suggesting an absence of enthusiasm from investors. Given the relatively short history of this stock, we’d remain pretty wary until we see some strong business performance. Before spending more time on Frontera Energy it might be wise to click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling shares.

Of course Frontera Energy may not be the best stock to buy. So you may wish to see this free collection of growth stocks.

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.