Many investors define successful investing as beating the market average over the long term. But its virtually certain that sometimes you will buy stocks that fall short of the market average returns. Unfortunately, that's been the case for longer term China Aviation Oil (Singapore) Corporation Ltd (SGX:G92) shareholders, since the share price is down 36% in the last three years, falling well short of the market decline of around 16%. It's up 7.9% in the last seven days.
In his essay The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville Warren Buffett described how share prices do not always rationally reflect the value of a business. 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 unfortunate three years of share price decline, China Aviation Oil (Singapore) actually saw its earnings per share (EPS) improve by 3.9% per year. This is quite a puzzle, and suggests there might be something temporarily buoying the share price. Or else the company was over-hyped in the past, and so its growth has disappointed.
After considering the numbers, we'd posit that the the market had higher expectations of EPS growth, three years back. But it's possible a look at other metrics will be enlightening.
We note that the dividend seems healthy enough, so that probably doesn't explain the share price drop. We like that China Aviation Oil (Singapore) has actually grown its revenue over the last three years. If the company can keep growing revenue, there may be an opportunity for investors. You might have to dig deeper to understand the recent share price weakness.
The company's revenue and earnings (over time) are depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
We're pleased to report that the CEO is remunerated more modestly than most CEOs at similarly capitalized companies. It's always worth keeping an eye on CEO pay, but a more important question is whether the company will grow earnings throughout the years. So it makes a lot of sense to check out what analysts think China Aviation Oil (Singapore) will earn in the future (free profit forecasts).
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. We note that for China Aviation Oil (Singapore) the TSR over the last 3 years was -32%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
While it's never nice to take a loss, China Aviation Oil (Singapore) shareholders can take comfort that , including dividends, their trailing twelve month loss of 13% wasn't as bad as the market loss of around 18%. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 9.0%, 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. 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. Take risks, for example - China Aviation Oil (Singapore) has 3 warning signs (and 1 which is significant) we think you should know about.
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 SG exchanges.
Love or hate this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email 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. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.