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Some Trican Well Service (TSE:TCW) Shareholders Have Taken A Painful 78% Share Price Drop

Simply Wall St

While it may not be enough for some shareholders, we think it is good to see the Trican Well Service Ltd. (TSE:TCW) share price up 26% in a single quarter. But that is meagre solace in the face of the shocking decline over three years. To wit, the share price sky-dived 78% in that time. So it's about time shareholders saw some gains. Only time will tell if the company can sustain the turnaround.

See our latest analysis for Trican Well Service

Trican Well Service 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. Generally speaking, companies without profits are expected to grow revenue every year, and at a good clip. 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.

In the last three years, Trican Well Service saw its revenue grow by 23% per year, compound. That is faster than most pre-profit companies. So on the face of it we're really surprised to see the share price down 39% a year in the same time period. The share price makes us wonder if there is an issue with profitability. Ultimately, revenue growth doesn't amount to much if the business can't scale well. Unless the balance sheet is strong, the company might have to raise capital.

The company's revenue and earnings (over time) are depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).

TSX:TCW Income Statement, January 24th 2020

Trican Well Service is well known by investors, and plenty of clever analysts have tried to predict the future profit levels. So it makes a lot of sense to check out what analysts think Trican Well Service will earn in the future (free analyst consensus estimates)

A Different Perspective

Investors in Trican Well Service had a tough year, with a total loss of 19%, against a market gain of about 14%. Even the share prices of good stocks drop sometimes, but we want to see improvements in the fundamental metrics of a business, before getting too interested. Unfortunately, longer term shareholders are suffering worse, given the loss of 26% doled out over the last five years. We'd need to see some sustained improvements in the key metrics before we could muster much enthusiasm. 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. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 1 warning sign with Trican Well Service , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

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 CA exchanges.

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.

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. Thank you for reading.