The Whiting Petroleum Share Price Is Down 91% So Some Shareholders Are Rather Upset

Long term investing is the way to go, but that doesn’t mean you should hold every stock forever. We don’t wish catastrophic capital loss on anyone. For example, we sympathize with anyone who was caught holding Whiting Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:WLL) during the five years that saw its share price drop a whopping 91%. Shareholders have had an even rougher run lately, with the share price down 17% in the last 90 days. This could be related to the recent financial results – you can catch up on the most recent data by reading our company report.

We really hope anyone holding through that price crash has a diversified portfolio. Even when you lose money, you don’t have to lose the lesson.

View our latest analysis for Whiting Petroleum

To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it’s a weighing machine. 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, Whiting Petroleum 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 might give us a better handle on how its value is changing over time.

Arguably, the revenue drop of 14% a year for half a decade suggests that the company can’t grow in the long term. This has probably encouraged some shareholders to sell down the stock.

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:WLL Income Statement, March 5th 2019
NYSE:WLL Income Statement, March 5th 2019

Whiting Petroleum is a well known stock, with plenty of analyst coverage, suggesting some visibility into future growth. Given we have quite a good number of analyst forecasts, it might be well worth checking out this free chart depicting consensus estimates.

A Different Perspective

Whiting Petroleum shareholders are down 13% for the year, but the market itself is up 4.0%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. However, the loss over the last year isn’t as bad as the 38% 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. Most investors take the time to check the data on insider transactions. You can click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling.

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 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.