For many, the main point of investing is to generate higher returns than the overall market. But every investor is virtually certain to have both over-performing and under-performing stocks. So we wouldn't blame long term Hang Lung Group Limited (HKG:10) shareholders for doubting their decision to hold, with the stock down 45% over a half decade.
Although the past week has been more reassuring for shareholders, they're still in the red over the last five years, so let's see if the underlying business has been responsible for the decline.
Check out our latest analysis for Hang Lung Group
While the efficient markets hypothesis continues to be taught by some, it has been proven that markets are over-reactive dynamic systems, and investors are not always rational. One way to examine how market sentiment has changed over time is to look at the interaction between a company's share price and its earnings per share (EPS).
Looking back five years, both Hang Lung Group's share price and EPS declined; the latter at a rate of 13% per year. This change in EPS is reasonably close to the 11% average annual decrease in the share price. That suggests that the market sentiment around the company hasn't changed much over that time. So it's fair to say the share price has been responding to changes in EPS.
The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
It's good to see that there was some significant insider buying in the last three months. That's a positive. On the other hand, we think the revenue and earnings trends are much more meaningful measures of the business. Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here..
What About Dividends?
As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). 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. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. As it happens, Hang Lung Group's TSR for the last 5 years was -28%, 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
Hang Lung Group shareholders gained a total return of 8.1% during the year. But that return falls short of the market. On the bright side, that's still a gain, and it is certainly better than the yearly loss of about 5% endured over half a decade. It could well be that the business is stabilizing. 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. To that end, you should be aware of the 1 warning sign we've spotted with Hang Lung Group .
Hang Lung Group is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with insider buying.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on Hong Kong 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.