Did Changing Sentiment Drive VAALCO Energy’s (NYSE:EGY) Share Price Down A Painful 76%?

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Some stocks are best avoided. We don’t wish catastrophic capital loss on anyone. For example, we sympathize with anyone who was caught holding VAALCO Energy, Inc. (NYSE:EGY) during the five years that saw its share price drop a whopping 76%. We also note that the stock has performed poorly over the last year, with the share price down 31%. Furthermore, it’s down 30% in about a quarter. That’s not much fun for holders. We note that the company has reported results fairly recently; and the market is hardly delighted. You can check out the latest numbers in our company report.

See our latest analysis for VAALCO Energy

While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. One imperfect but simple way to consider how the market perception of a company has shifted is to compare the change in the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price movement.

VAALCO Energy became profitable within the last five years. 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.

Arguably, the revenue drop of 13% a year for half a decade suggests that the company can’t grow in the long term. That could explain the weak share price.

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.

NYSE:EGY Income Statement, June 2nd 2019
NYSE:EGY Income Statement, June 2nd 2019

It’s good to see that there was some significant insider buying in the last three months. That’s a positive. On the other hand, we think the revenue and earnings trends are much more meaningful measures of the business. Dive deeper into the earnings by checking this interactive graph of VAALCO Energy’s earnings, revenue and cash flow.

A Different Perspective

While the broader market gained around 0.3% in the last year, VAALCO Energy shareholders lost 31%. 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 25% per year over five years. 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. 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.

There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. You probably do not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US 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.