For many, the main point of investing is to generate higher returns than the overall market. 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 58% over a half decade.
Since China Railway Signal & Communication has shed CN¥953m from its value in the past 7 days, let's see if the longer term decline has been driven by the business' economics.
Check out our latest analysis for China Railway Signal & Communication
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 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.
Looking back five years, both China Railway Signal & Communication's share price and EPS declined; the latter at a rate of 2.8% per year. This reduction in EPS is less than the 16% annual reduction in the share price. This implies that the market was previously too optimistic about the stock. The low P/E ratio of 6.66 further reflects this reticence.
The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).SEHK:3969 Earnings Per Share Growth August 3rd 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. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on China Railway Signal & Communication's earnings, revenue and cash flow .
What About Dividends?
As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). 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. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. 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
While it's certainly disappointing to see that China Railway Signal & Communication shares lost 6.8% throughout the year, that wasn't as bad as the market loss of 20%. Of far more concern is the 8% p.a. loss served to shareholders over the last five years. While the losses are slowing we doubt many shareholders are happy with the stock. 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 risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 1 warning sign for China Railway Signal & Communication you should know about.
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.
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.
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.