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Investing in Energy Resources of Australia (ASX:ERA) five years ago would have delivered you a 30% gain

In order to justify the effort of selecting individual stocks, it's worth striving to beat the returns from a market index fund. But the main game is to find enough winners to more than offset the losers So we wouldn't blame long term Energy Resources of Australia Ltd (ASX:ERA) shareholders for doubting their decision to hold, with the stock down 76% over a half decade. Furthermore, it's down 17% in about a quarter. That's not much fun for holders.

So let's have a look and see if the longer term performance of the company has been in line with the underlying business' progress.

Check out our latest analysis for Energy Resources of Australia

Given that Energy Resources of Australia didn't make a profit in the last twelve months, we'll focus on revenue growth to form a quick view of its business development. Shareholders of unprofitable companies usually desire strong revenue growth. That's because fast revenue growth can be easily extrapolated to forecast profits, often of considerable size.

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In the last five years Energy Resources of Australia saw its revenue shrink by 27% per year. That puts it in an unattractive cohort, to put it mildly. So it's not altogether surprising to see the share price down 12% per year in the same time period. We don't think this is a particularly promising picture. Ironically, that behavior could create an opportunity for the contrarian investor - but only if there are good reasons to predict a brighter future.

You can see below how earnings and revenue have changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).

earnings-and-revenue-growth
earnings-and-revenue-growth

We're pleased to report that the CEO is remunerated more modestly than most CEOs at similarly capitalized 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. This free interactive report on Energy Resources of Australia's earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.

What About The Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?

We've already covered Energy Resources of Australia's share price action, but we should also mention its total shareholder return (TSR). The TSR attempts to capture the value of dividends (as if they were reinvested) as well as any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings offered to shareholders. Energy Resources of Australia hasn't been paying dividends, but its TSR of 30% exceeds its share price return of -76%, implying it has either spun-off a business, or raised capital at a discount; thereby providing additional value to shareholders.

A Different Perspective

It's good to see that Energy Resources of Australia has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 41% in the last twelve months. That gain is better than the annual TSR over five years, which is 5%. Therefore it seems like sentiment around the company has been positive lately. Given the share price momentum remains strong, it might be worth taking a closer look at the stock, lest you miss an opportunity. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Energy Resources of Australia better, we need to consider many other factors. Case in point: We've spotted 4 warning signs for Energy Resources of Australia you should be aware of.

Of course Energy Resources of Australia 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 Australian exchanges.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.