If you are building a properly diversified stock portfolio, the chances are some of your picks will perform badly. But the long term shareholders of Helmerich & Payne, Inc. (NYSE:HP) have had an unfortunate run in the last three years. Sadly for them, the share price is down 72% in that time. And over the last year the share price fell 64%, so we doubt many shareholders are delighted. Shareholders have had an even rougher run lately, with the share price down 25% in the last 90 days.
Helmerich & Payne wasn't profitable in the last twelve months, 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. When a company doesn't make profits, we'd generally expect to see good revenue growth. That's because it's hard to be confident a company will be sustainable if revenue growth is negligible, and it never makes a profit.
Over three years, Helmerich & Payne grew revenue at 12% per year. That's a fairly respectable growth rate. So it seems unlikely the 20% share price drop (each year) is entirely about the revenue. It could be that the losses were much larger than expected. If you buy into companies that lose money then you always risk losing money yourself. Just don't lose the lesson.
The graphic below depicts how earnings and revenue have changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).
We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Even so, future earnings will be far more important to whether current shareholders make money. So we recommend checking out this free report showing consensus forecasts
What About Dividends?
As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). The TSR incorporates the value of any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings, along with any dividends, based on the assumption that the dividends are reinvested. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. We note that for Helmerich & Payne the TSR over the last 3 years was -66%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.
A Different Perspective
Helmerich & Payne shareholders are down 60% for the year (even including dividends), but the market itself is up 15%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Unfortunately, last year's performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it was worse than the annualised loss of 9.6% over the last half decade. We realise that Baron Rothschild 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 business. While it is well worth considering the different impacts that market conditions can have on the share price, there are other factors that are even more important. Even so, be aware that Helmerich & Payne is showing 2 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 1 of those doesn't sit too well with us...
If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.
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. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
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