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Volatility 101: Should Hope Bancorp (NASDAQ:HOPE) Shares Have Dropped 27%?

Simply Wall St

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The simplest way to benefit from a rising market is to buy an index fund. When you buy individual stocks, you can make higher profits, but you also face the risk of under-performance. That downside risk was realized by Hope Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:HOPE) shareholders over the last year, as the share price declined 27%. That's well bellow the market return of 3.7%. However, the longer term returns haven't been so bad, with the stock down 19% in the last three years. There was little comfort for shareholders in the last week as the price declined a further 5.0%.

View our latest analysis for Hope Bancorp

To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it's a weighing machine. 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 twelve months during which the Hope Bancorp share price fell, it actually saw its earnings per share (EPS) improve by 23%. It's quite possible that growth expectations may have been unreasonable in the past. The divergence between the EPS and the share price is quite notable, during the year. So it's well worth checking out some other metrics, too.

We don't see any weakness in the Hope Bancorp's dividend so the steady payout can't really explain the share price drop. We'd be more worried about the fact that revenue fell 3.2% year on year. The market may be extrapolating the decline, leading to questions around the sustainability of the EPS.

The graphic below shows how revenue and earnings have changed as management guided the business forward. If you want to see cashflow, you can click on the chart.

NasdaqGS:HOPE Income Statement, May 29th 2019

We know that Hope Bancorp 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 Hope Bancorp

What About Dividends?

It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. 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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. In the case of Hope Bancorp, it has a TSR of -24% for the last year. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.

A Different Perspective

Hope Bancorp shareholders are down 24% for the year (even including dividends), but the market itself is up 3.7%. 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 0.2% 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. If you would like to research Hope Bancorp in more detail then you might want to take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in the company.

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 US 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 editorial-team@simplywallst.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. Thank you for reading.