By buying an index fund, you can roughly match the market return with ease. But if you pick the right individual stocks , you could make more than that. Just take a look at China Resources Power Holdings Company Limited (HKG:836), which is up 46%, over three years, soundly beating the market decline of 9.6% (not including dividends). On the other hand, the returns haven't been quite so good recently, with shareholders up just 5.5% , including dividends .
On the back of a solid 7-day performance, let's check what role the company's fundamentals have played in driving long term shareholder returns.
View our latest analysis for China Resources Power Holdings
While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. 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.
During the three years of share price growth, China Resources Power Holdings actually saw its earnings per share (EPS) drop 60% per year.
So we doubt that the market is looking to EPS for its main judge of the company's value. Therefore, we think it's worth considering other metrics as well.
Languishing at just 1.9%, we doubt the dividend is doing much to prop up the share price. It may well be that China Resources Power Holdings revenue growth rate of 13% over three years has convinced shareholders to believe in a brighter future. If the company is being managed for the long term good, today's shareholders might be right to hold on.
The image below shows how earnings and revenue have tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).SEHK:836 Earnings and Revenue Growth August 18th 2022
We're pleased to report that the CEO is remunerated more modestly than most CEOs at similarly capitalized companies. It's always worth keeping an eye on CEO pay, but a more important question is whether the company will grow earnings throughout the years. This free report showing analyst forecasts should help you form a view on China Resources Power Holdings
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. We note that for China Resources Power Holdings the TSR over the last 3 years was 68%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
It's nice to see that China Resources Power Holdings shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 5.5% over the last year. Of course, that includes the dividend. Since the one-year TSR is better than the five-year TSR (the latter coming in at 5% per year), it would seem that the stock's performance has improved in recent times. Someone with an optimistic perspective could view the recent improvement in TSR as indicating that the business itself is getting better with time. 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 3 warning signs for China Resources Power Holdings (1 can't be ignored!) that you should be aware of before investing here.
But note: China Resources Power Holdings may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with past earnings growth (and further growth forecast).
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.