In order to justify the effort of selecting individual stocks, it's worth striving to beat the returns from a market index fund. But in any portfolio, there will be mixed results between individual stocks. At this point some shareholders may be questioning their investment in Fraser and Neave, Limited (SGX:F99), since the last five years saw the share price fall 37%. The good news is that the stock is up 1.8% in the last week.
There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect 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.
During five years of share price growth, Fraser and Neave moved from a loss to profitability. Most would consider that to be a good thing, so it's counter-intuitive to see the share price declining. Other metrics might give us a better handle on how its value is changing over time.
The revenue fall of 1.6% per year for five years is neither good nor terrible. But it's quite possible the market had expected better; a closer look at the revenue trends might explain the pessimism.
You can see how earnings and revenue have changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
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. Dive deeper into the earnings by checking this interactive graph of Fraser and Neave'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. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. We note that for Fraser and Neave the TSR over the last 5 years was -30%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.
A Different Perspective
Fraser and Neave shareholders gained a total return of 5.7% during the year. Unfortunately this falls short of the market return. On the bright side, that's still a gain, and it is certainly better than the yearly loss of about 7.0% endured over half a decade. So this might be a sign the business has turned its fortunes around. Before forming an opinion on Fraser and Neave you might want to consider the cold hard cash it pays as a dividend. This free chart tracks its dividend over time.
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 SG exchanges.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.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.
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