Many investors define successful investing as beating the market average over the long term. But in any portfolio, there are likely to be some stocks that fall short of that benchmark. Unfortunately, that's been the case for longer term China Dongxiang (Group) Co., Ltd. (HKG:3818) shareholders, since the share price is down 26% in the last three years, falling well short of the market return of around 41%. There was little comfort for shareholders in the last week as the price declined a further 1.7%.
There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. One flawed but reasonable way to assess how sentiment around a company has changed is to compare the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price.
During the three years that the share price fell, China Dongxiang (Group)'s earnings per share (EPS) dropped by 28% each year. This fall in the EPS is worse than the 9.5% compound annual share price fall. So the market may not be too worried about the EPS figure, at the moment -- or it may have previously priced some of the drop in.
The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
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 interactive report on China Dongxiang (Group)'s earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.
A Dividend Lost
The share price return figures discussed above don't include the value of dividends paid previously, but the total shareholder return (TSR) does. By accounting for the value of dividends paid, the TSR can be seen as a more complete measure of the value a company brings to its shareholders. China Dongxiang (Group)'s TSR over the last 3 years is 7.7%; better than its share price return. Although the company had to cut dividends, it has paid cash to shareholders in the past.
A Different Perspective
We regret to report that China Dongxiang (Group) shareholders are down 11% for the year. Unfortunately, that's worse than the broader market decline of 3.1%. 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. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 7.0%, each year, over five years. It could be that the recent sell-off is an opportunity, so it may be worth checking the fundamental data for signs of a long term growth trend. Investors who like to make money usually check up on insider purchases, such as the price paid, and total amount bought. You can find out about the insider purchases of China Dongxiang (Group) by clicking this link.
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 HK 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.