By buying an index fund, investors can approximate the average market return. But if you buy good businesses at attractive prices, your portfolio returns could exceed the average market return. Just take a look at Water Oasis Group Limited (HKG:1161), which is up 87%, over three years, soundly beating the market return of 13% (not including dividends).
While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. One imperfect but simple way to consider how the market perception of a company has shifted is to compare the change in the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price movement.
Water Oasis Group was able to grow its EPS at 61% per year over three years, sending the share price higher. The average annual share price increase of 23% is actually lower than the EPS growth. So it seems investors have become more cautious about the company, over time. This cautious sentiment is reflected in its (fairly low) P/E ratio of 6.51.
The company's earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
Dive deeper into Water Oasis Group's key metrics by checking this interactive graph of Water Oasis Group's earnings, revenue and cash flow.
What About Dividends?
When looking at investment returns, it is important to consider the difference between total shareholder return (TSR) and share price return. 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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. As it happens, Water Oasis Group's TSR for the last 3 years was 146%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.
A Different Perspective
Water Oasis Group shareholders are down 11% for the year (even including dividends) , but the market itself is up 6.0%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. On the bright side, long term shareholders have made money, with a gain of 16% per year over half a decade. If the fundamental data continues to indicate long term sustainable growth, the current sell-off could be an opportunity worth considering. Most investors take the time to check the data on insider transactions. You can click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling.
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.
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.
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