Conifex Timber (TSE:CFF) shareholders have endured a 45% loss from investing in the stock five years ago

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The main aim of stock picking is to find the market-beating stocks. But every investor is virtually certain to have both over-performing and under-performing stocks. At this point some shareholders may be questioning their investment in Conifex Timber Inc. (TSE:CFF), since the last five years saw the share price fall 45%. And we doubt long term believers are the only worried holders, since the stock price has declined 24% over the last twelve months. Furthermore, it’s down 25% in about a quarter. That’s not much fun for holders. However, one could argue that the price has been influenced by the general market, which is down 12% in the same timeframe.

Now let’s have a look at the company’s fundamentals, and see if the long term shareholder return has matched the performance of the underlying business.

See our latest analysis for Conifex Timber

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.

During five years of share price growth, Conifex Timber 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 may better explain the share price move.

Arguably, the revenue drop of 23% a year for half a decade suggests that the company can’t grow in the long term. That could explain the weak share price.

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

It is of course excellent to see how Conifex Timber has grown profits over the years, but the future is more important for shareholders. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on how its financial position has changed over time.

A Different Perspective

We regret to report that Conifex Timber shareholders are down 24% for the year. Unfortunately, that’s worse than the broader market decline of 0.5%. Having said that, it’s inevitable that some stocks will be oversold in a falling market. The key is to keep your eyes on the fundamental developments. Regrettably, last year’s performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 8% 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. I find it very interesting to look at share price over the long term as a proxy for business performance. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We’ve identified 3 warning signs with Conifex Timber (at least 1 which is concerning) , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

But note: Conifex Timber may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with past earnings growth (and further growth forecast).

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

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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.