Ideally, your overall portfolio should beat the market average. But in any portfolio, there will be mixed results between individual stocks. So we wouldn't blame long term China Railway Signal & Communication Corporation Limited (HKG:3969) shareholders for doubting their decision to hold, with the stock down 56% over a half decade.
While the last five years has been tough for China Railway Signal & Communication shareholders, this past week has shown signs of promise. So let's look at the longer term fundamentals and see if they've been the driver of the negative returns.
View our latest analysis for China Railway Signal & Communication
There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. 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, China Railway Signal & Communication's earnings per share (EPS) dropped by 3.1% each year. Readers should note that the share price has fallen faster than the EPS, at a rate of 15% per year, over the period. This implies that the market was previously too optimistic about the stock. The less favorable sentiment is reflected in its current P/E ratio of 7.21.
The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).SEHK:3969 Earnings Per Share Growth April 29th 2022
We're pleased to report that the CEO is remunerated more modestly than most CEOs at similarly capitalized companies. But while CEO remuneration is always worth checking, the really important question is whether the company can grow earnings going forward. Dive deeper into the earnings by checking this interactive graph of China Railway Signal & Communication'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. The TSR incorporates the value of any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings, along with any dividends, based on the assumption that the dividends are reinvested. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. As it happens, China Railway Signal & Communication's TSR for the last 5 years was -44%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!
A Different Perspective
Although it hurts that China Railway Signal & Communication returned a loss of 7.4% in the last twelve months, the broader market was actually worse, returning a loss of 24%. What is more upsetting is the 8% per annum loss investors have suffered over the last half decade. This sort of share price action isn't particularly encouraging, but at least the losses are slowing. 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. Case in point: We've spotted 1 warning sign for China Railway Signal & Communication you should be aware of.
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 HK 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.