U.S. Markets closed

Imagine Owning China Automotive Systems (NASDAQ:CAAS) And Trying To Stomach The 79% Share Price Drop

Simply Wall St

We're definitely into long term investing, but some companies are simply bad investments over any time frame. We don't wish catastrophic capital loss on anyone. Anyone who held China Automotive Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CAAS) for five years would be nursing their metaphorical wounds since the share price dropped 79% in that time. And some of the more recent buyers are probably worried, too, with the stock falling 38% in the last year. Shareholders have had an even rougher run lately, with the share price down 16% in the last 90 days.

See our latest analysis for China Automotive Systems

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 way to examine how market sentiment has changed over time is to look at the interaction between a company's share price and its earnings per share (EPS).

China Automotive Systems became profitable within the last five years. That would generally be considered a positive, so we are surprised to see the share price is down. Other metrics may better explain the share price move.

In contrast to the share price, revenue has actually increased by 2.0% a year in the five year period. A more detailed examination of the revenue and earnings may or may not explain why the share price languishes; there could be an opportunity.

You can see below how earnings and revenue have changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).

NasdaqCM:CAAS Income Statement, October 25th 2019

We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. So we recommend checking out this free report showing consensus forecasts

A Different Perspective

While the broader market gained around 13% in the last year, China Automotive Systems shareholders lost 38%. Even the share prices of good stocks drop sometimes, but we want to see improvements in the fundamental metrics of a business, before getting too interested. Regrettably, last year's performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 27% per year over five years. We realise that Buffett 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 businesses. It is all well and good that insiders have been buying shares, but we suggest you check here to see what price insiders were buying at.

China Automotive Systems 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 US exchanges.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.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.