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Did Changing Sentiment Drive Helix Energy Solutions Group's (NYSE:HLX) Share Price Down A Painful 74%?

Simply Wall St

Some stocks are best avoided. We don't wish catastrophic capital loss on anyone. Spare a thought for those who held Helix Energy Solutions Group, Inc. (NYSE:HLX) for five whole years - as the share price tanked 74%. And we doubt long term believers are the only worried holders, since the stock price has declined 24% over the last twelve months. On top of that, the share price has dropped a further 17% in a month.

View our latest analysis for Helix Energy Solutions Group

There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. By comparing earnings per share (EPS) and share price changes over time, we can get a feel for how investor attitudes to a company have morphed over time.

Helix Energy Solutions Group became profitable within the last five years. 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 9.7% 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.

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

NYSE:HLX Income Statement, August 29th 2019

It is of course excellent to see how Helix Energy Solutions Group has grown profits over the years, but the future is more important for shareholders. You can see how its balance sheet has strengthened (or weakened) over time in this free interactive graphic.

A Different Perspective

We regret to report that Helix Energy Solutions Group shareholders are down 24% for the year. Unfortunately, that's worse than the broader market decline of 0.8%. However, it could simply be that the share price has been impacted by broader market jitters. It might be worth keeping an eye on the fundamentals, in case there's a good opportunity. Unfortunately, last year's performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it was worse than the annualised loss of 24% over the last half decade. We realise that Buffett 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 businesses. If you would like to research Helix Energy Solutions Group in more detail then you might want to take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in the company.

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.