For many, the main point of investing is to generate higher returns than the overall market. But every investor is virtually certain to have both over-performing and under-performing stocks. So we wouldn't blame long term China Aircraft Leasing Group Holdings Limited (HKG:1848) shareholders for doubting their decision to hold, with the stock down 16% over a half decade. On the other hand the share price has bounced 5.7% over the last week. Less than a week ago China Aircraft Leasing Group Holdings announced its financial results; you can catch up on the most recent data by reading our company report.
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. 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 unfortunate half decade during which the share price slipped, China Aircraft Leasing Group Holdings actually saw its earnings per share (EPS) improve by 18% per year. Given the share price reaction, one might suspect that EPS is not a good guide to the business performance during the period (perhaps due to a one-off loss or gain). Alternatively, growth expectations may have been unreasonable in the past.
It is unusual to see such modest share price growth in the face of sustained EPS improvements. We can look to other metrics to try to understand the situation better.
The steady dividend doesn't really explain why the share price is down. While it's not completely obvious why the share price is down, a closer look at the company's history might help explain it.
The graphic below depicts how earnings and revenue have changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).
We know that China Aircraft Leasing Group Holdings has improved its bottom line lately, but what does the future have in store? This free report showing analyst forecasts should help you form a view on China Aircraft Leasing Group Holdings
What About Dividends?
When looking at investment returns, it is important to consider the difference between total shareholder return (TSR) and share price return. 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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. We note that for China Aircraft Leasing Group Holdings the TSR over the last 5 years was 11%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
While it's certainly disappointing to see that China Aircraft Leasing Group Holdings shares lost 2.8% throughout the year, that wasn't as bad as the market loss of 5.2%. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 2.0%, each year, over five years. In the best case scenario the last year is just a temporary blip on the journey to a brighter future. 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 2 warning signs with China Aircraft Leasing Group Holdings (at least 1 which is concerning) , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.
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 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.
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. Thank you for reading.