Did Changing Sentiment Drive TORC Oil & Gas’s (TSE:TOG) Share Price Down A Worrying 65%?

TORC Oil & Gas Ltd. (TSE:TOG) shareholders should be happy to see the share price up 16% in the last month. But that doesn’t change the fact that the returns over the last half decade have been disappointing. The share price has failed to impress anyone , down a sizable 65% during that time. So is the recent increase sufficient to restore confidence in the stock? Not yet. Of course, this could be the start of a turnaround.

Check out our latest analysis for TORC Oil & Gas

There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect 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, TORC Oil & Gas moved from a loss to profitability. Most would consider that to be a good thing, so it’s counter-intuitive to see the share price declining. Other metrics might give us a better handle on how its value is changing over time.

We note that the dividend has fallen in the last five years, so that may have contributed to the share price decline.

The graphic below shows how revenue and earnings have changed as management guided the business forward. If you want to see cashflow, you can click on the chart.

TSX:TOG Income Statement, April 17th 2019
TSX:TOG Income Statement, April 17th 2019

It is of course excellent to see how TORC Oil & Gas has grown profits over the years, but the future is more important for shareholders. This free interactive report on TORC Oil & Gas’s balance sheet strength is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.

What About Dividends?

As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). 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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. As it happens, TORC Oil & Gas’s TSR for the last 5 years was -55%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

Investors in TORC Oil & Gas had a tough year, with a total loss of 28% (including dividends), against a market gain of about 7.2%. 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. Regrettably, last year’s performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 15% 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. Before spending more time on TORC Oil & Gas it might be wise to click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling shares.

Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of companies we expect will grow earnings.

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.