Chemical Industries (Far East) Limited (SGX:C05) shareholders might be concerned after seeing the share price drop 11% in the last quarter. On the bright side the returns have been quite good over the last half decade. After all, the share price is up a market-beating 27% in that time.
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.
Chemical Industries (Far East)'s earnings per share are down 0.8% per year, despite strong share price performance over five years.
Since EPS is down a bit, and the share price is up, it's probably that the market previously had some concerns about the company, but the reality has been better than feared. Having said that, if the EPS falls continue we'd be surprised to see a sustained increase in share price.
The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on Chemical Industries (Far East)'s earnings, revenue and cash flow.
What About Dividends?
As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). Whereas the share price return only reflects the change in the share price, the TSR includes the value of dividends (assuming they were reinvested) and the benefit of any discounted capital raising or spin-off. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. We note that for Chemical Industries (Far East) the TSR over the last 5 years was 82%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. 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 Chemical Industries (Far East) shares lost 11% throughout the year, that wasn't as bad as the market loss of 18%. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 13%, 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. I find it very interesting to look at share price over the long term as a proxy for business performance. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. For example, we've discovered 4 warning signs for Chemical Industries (Far East) (1 makes us a bit uncomfortable!) that you should be aware of before investing here.
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 SG exchanges.
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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.