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Investors in Cooper Energy (ASX:COE) from three years ago are still down 51%, even after 13% gain this past week

Cooper Energy Limited (ASX:COE) shareholders should be happy to see the share price up 23% in the last month. But that is small recompense for the exasperating returns over three years. In that time, the share price dropped 54%. Some might say the recent bounce is to be expected after such a bad drop. While many would remain nervous, there could be further gains if the business can put its best foot forward.

Although the past week has been more reassuring for shareholders, they're still in the red over the last three years, so let's see if the underlying business has been responsible for the decline.

Check out our latest analysis for Cooper Energy

Given that Cooper Energy 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. Generally speaking, companies without profits are expected to grow revenue every year, and at a good clip. That's because fast revenue growth can be easily extrapolated to forecast profits, often of considerable size.

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In the last three years, Cooper Energy saw its revenue grow by 40% per year, compound. That's well above most other pre-profit companies. The share price has moved in quite the opposite direction, down 15% over that time, a bad result. It seems likely that the market is worried about the continual losses. When we see revenue growth, paired with a falling share price, we can't help wonder if there is an opportunity for those who are willing to dig deeper.

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

It's probably worth noting we've seen significant insider buying in the last quarter, which we consider a positive. On the other hand, we think the revenue and earnings trends are much more meaningful measures of the business. This free report showing analyst forecasts should help you form a view on Cooper Energy

What About The Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?

Investors should note that there's a difference between Cooper Energy's total shareholder return (TSR) and its share price change, which we've covered above. 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. Cooper Energy hasn't been paying dividends, but its TSR of -51% exceeds its share price return of -54%, 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 Cooper Energy has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 31% in the last twelve months. There's no doubt those recent returns are much better than the TSR loss of 0.1% per year over five years. The long term loss makes us cautious, but the short term TSR gain certainly hints at a brighter future. 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. To that end, you should be aware of the 1 warning sign we've spotted with Cooper Energy .

Cooper Energy is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with insider buying.

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

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