As 2011 comes to a close, it's a great time to look back at what happened to the stocks that interest you. By making sure you know the important things that a company accomplished -- as well as the setbacks it experienced -- you can make a better decision about whether it's a smart investment for your portfolio.
Today, let's take a look at Total
Stats on Total
|2011 Year-to-Date Return||(1%)|
|Market Cap||$112 billion|
|1-Year Revenue Growth||17.2%|
|1-Year Earnings Growth||13.3%|
Source: S&P Capital IQ.
Why did Total stay flat this year?
Overall, it's been a pretty good year for oil companies. U.S. giants ExxonMobil
But Total faced some unique challenges in 2011. More than most of its peers, Total suffered from the Libyan uprising, which cut off oil production from the North African country early in the year.
Total has also made some moves that haven't yet borne fruit. Amid a horrible year for solar energy players, Total bought a majority stake in SunPower
Solutions to the problems in Europe would undoubtedly boost Total's shares. But for now, the stock offers a dividend yield of nearly 6% with much lower earnings multiples than many oil companies around the world. Despite Total's challenges, that adds up to good value in my book.
Still, if you can't get enough good ideas in the energy sector, we've got another stock you shouldn't miss. Read about it right here in the Motley Fool's special free report on the energy industry and its best prospects, but don't wait until it's gone -- get it today.
Click here to add Total to My Watchlist, which can find all of our Foolish analysis on it and all your other stocks.