Country Garden Holdings Company Limited (HKG:2007) shareholders might be concerned after seeing the share price drop 19% in the last quarter. In contrast, the return over three years has been impressive. In three years the stock price has launched 220% higher: a great result. So the recent fall in the share price should be viewed in that context. Only time will tell if there is still too much optimism currently reflected in the share price.
To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it's a weighing machine. 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.
Country Garden Holdings was able to grow its EPS at 56% per year over three years, sending the share price higher. We don't think it is entirely coincidental that the EPS growth is reasonably close to the 47% average annual increase in the share price. This suggests that sentiment and expectations have not changed drastically. Quite to the contrary, the share price has arguably reflected the EPS growth.
The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
It's good to see that there was some significant insider buying in the last three months. That's a positive. That said, we think earnings and revenue growth trends are even more important factors to consider. This free interactive report on Country Garden Holdings's earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.
What About Dividends?
As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). The TSR incorporates the value of any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings, along with any dividends, based on the assumption that the dividends are reinvested. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. As it happens, Country Garden Holdings's TSR for the last 3 years was 286%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!
A Different Perspective
While it's certainly disappointing to see that Country Garden Holdings shares lost 0.8% throughout the year, that wasn't as bad as the market loss of 4.7%. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 31%, each year, over five years. It could be that the business is just facing some short term problems, but shareholders should keep a close eye on the fundamentals. 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 Country Garden Holdings by clicking this link.
Country Garden Holdings is not the only stock that insiders are buying. For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on HK exchanges.
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If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.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.