One simple way to benefit from the stock market is to buy an index fund. But if you choose individual stocks with prowess, you can make superior returns. For example, the Plover Bay Technologies Limited (HKG:1523) share price is up 83% in the last three years, clearly besting the market return of around 8.4% (not including dividends).
To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it's a weighing machine. One flawed but reasonable way to assess how sentiment around a company has changed is to compare the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price.
Plover Bay Technologies was able to grow its EPS at 21% per year over three years, sending the share price higher. Notably, the 22% average annual share price gain matches up nicely with the EPS growth rate. That suggests that the market sentiment around the company hasn't changed much over that time. Au contraire, the share price change has arguably mimicked the EPS growth.
The company's earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
We know that Plover Bay Technologies has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? If you're interested, you could check this free report showing consensus revenue forecasts.
What About Dividends?
When looking at investment returns, it is important to consider the difference between total shareholder return (TSR) and share price return. The TSR is a return calculation that accounts for the value of cash dividends (assuming that any dividend received was reinvested) and the calculated value of any discounted capital raisings and spin-offs. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. As it happens, Plover Bay Technologies's TSR for the last 3 years was 115%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
Plover Bay Technologies shareholders are down 5.1% for the year (even including dividends) , but the broader market is up 1.2%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Fortunately the longer term story is brighter, with total returns averaging about 29% per year over three years. The recent sell-off could be an opportunity if the business remains sound, so it may be worth checking the fundamental data for signs of a long-term growth trend. Before forming an opinion on Plover Bay Technologies you might want to consider the cold hard cash it pays as a dividend. This free chart tracks its dividend over time.
If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on HK 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.