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It's not possible to invest over long periods without making some bad investments. But really big losses can really drag down an overall portfolio. So take a moment to sympathize with the long term shareholders of China XD Plastics Company Limited (NASDAQ:CXDC), who have seen the share price tank a massive 76% over a three year period. That would be a disturbing experience. And more recent buyers are having a tough time too, with a drop of 46% in the last year. The good news is that the stock is up 1.7% in the last week.
While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just 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.
Over the three years that the share price declined, China XD Plastics' earnings per share (EPS) dropped significantly, falling to a loss. Since the company has fallen to a loss making position, it's hard to compare the change in EPS with the share price change. But it's safe to say we'd generally expect the share price to be lower as a result!
The company's earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here.
A Different Perspective
While the broader market gained around 23% in the last year, China XD Plastics shareholders lost 46%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Regrettably, last year's performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 11% per year over five years. We realise that Baron Rothschild has said investors should "buy when there is blood on the streets", but we caution that investors should first be sure they are buying a high quality business. 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. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 4 warning signs with China XD Plastics (at least 2 which can't be ignored) , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.
If you would prefer to check out another company -- one with potentially superior financials -- then do not miss this free list of companies that have proven they can grow earnings.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.
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.
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