Many investors define successful investing as beating the market average over the long term. But in any portfolio, there are likely to be some stocks that fall short of that benchmark. Unfortunately, that's been the case for longer term Raffles Medical Group Ltd (SGX:BSL) shareholders, since the share price is down 31% in the last three years, falling well short of the market return of around 17%.
To quote Buffett, 'Ships will sail around the world but the Flat Earth Society will flourish. There will continue to be wide discrepancies between price and value in the marketplace...' By comparing earnings per share (EPS) and share price changes over time, we can get a feel for how investor attitudes to a company have morphed over time.
During the three years that the share price fell, Raffles Medical Group's earnings per share (EPS) dropped by 5.1% each year. The share price decline of 12% is actually steeper than the EPS slippage. So it seems the market was too confident about the business, in the past.
You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
Dive deeper into Raffles Medical Group's key metrics by checking this interactive graph of Raffles Medical Group's earnings, revenue and cash flow.
What About Dividends?
It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. 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. As it happens, Raffles Medical Group's TSR for the last 3 years was -27%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
Investors in Raffles Medical Group had a tough year, with a total loss of 5.0% (including dividends) , against a market gain of about 9.9%. 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 2.8% 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. Before forming an opinion on Raffles Medical Group you might want to consider these 3 valuation metrics.
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 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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