The past five years for British American Tobacco (Malaysia) Berhad (KLSE:BAT) investors has not been profitable
While not a mind-blowing move, it is good to see that the British American Tobacco (Malaysia) Berhad (KLSE:BAT) share price has gained 16% in the last three months. But that is little comfort to those holding over the last half decade, sitting on a big loss. In fact, the share price has declined rather badly, down some 64% in that time. Some might say the recent bounce is to be expected after such a bad drop. Of course, this could be the start of a turnaround.
With that in mind, it's worth seeing if the company's underlying fundamentals have been the driver of long term performance, or if there are some discrepancies.
See our latest analysis for British American Tobacco (Malaysia) Berhad
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 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 the five years over which the share price declined, British American Tobacco (Malaysia) Berhad's earnings per share (EPS) dropped by 17% each year. This change in EPS is reasonably close to the 19% average annual decrease in the share price. This implies that the market has had a fairly steady view of the stock. Rather, the share price has approximately tracked EPS growth.
The company's earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on British American Tobacco (Malaysia) Berhad'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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. In the case of British American Tobacco (Malaysia) Berhad, it has a TSR of -50% for the last 5 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
British American Tobacco (Malaysia) Berhad shareholders are down 8.4% for the year (even including dividends), but the market itself is up 0.1%. 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. Unfortunately, longer term shareholders are suffering worse, given the loss of 9% doled out over the last five years. We'd need to see some sustained improvements in the key metrics before we could muster much enthusiasm. I find it very interesting to look at share price over the long term as a proxy for business performance. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. For example, we've discovered 2 warning signs for British American Tobacco (Malaysia) Berhad that you should be aware of before investing here.
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 MY exchanges.
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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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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