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Wharf (Holdings) (HKG:4) Shareholders Notch a 20% CAGR Over 3 Years, yet Earnings Have Been Shrinking

Simply Wall St ·  09/12 09:20

By buying an index fund, you can roughly match the market return with ease. But if you choose individual stocks with prowess, you can make superior returns. Just take a look at Wharf (Holdings) Limited (HKG:4), which is up 66%, over three years, soundly beating the market decline of 15% (not including dividends). On the other hand, the returns haven't been quite so good recently, with shareholders up just 11% , including dividends .

Since it's been a strong week for Wharf (Holdings) shareholders, let's have a look at trend of the longer term fundamentals.

See our latest analysis for Wharf (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.

Over the last three years, Wharf (Holdings) failed to grow earnings per share, which fell 6.8% (annualized).

Thus, it seems unlikely that the market is focussed on EPS growth at the moment. Since the change in EPS doesn't seem to correlate with the change in share price, it's worth taking a look at other metrics.

The modest 1.4% dividend yield is unlikely to be propping up the share price. It may well be that Wharf (Holdings) revenue growth rate of 7.8% over three years has convinced shareholders to believe in a brighter future. In that case, the company may be sacrificing current earnings per share to drive growth, and maybe shareholder's faith in better days ahead will be rewarded.

You can see below how earnings and revenue have changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).

earnings-and-revenue-growthSEHK:4 Earnings and Revenue Growth September 12th 2022

Take a more thorough look at Wharf (Holdings)'s financial health with this free report on its balance sheet.

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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. We note that for Wharf (Holdings) the TSR over the last 3 years was 75%, 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 Wharf (Holdings) shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 11% over the last year. Of course, that includes the dividend. However, the TSR over five years, coming in at 13% per year, is even more impressive. Most investors take the time to check the data on insider transactions. You can click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling.

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.

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.

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