China e-Wallet Payment Group Limited (HKG:802) has rebounded strongly over the last week, with the share price soaring 42%. But spare a thought for the long term holders, who have held the stock as it bled value over the last five years. Five years have seen the share price descend precipitously, down a full 88%. It’s true that the recent bounce could signal the company is turning over a new leaf, but we are not so sure. The real question is whether the business can leave its past behind and improve itself over the years ahead.
We really feel for shareholders in this scenario. It’s a good reminder of the importance of diversification, and it’s worth keeping in mind there’s more to life than money, anyway.
China e-Wallet Payment Group isn’t a profitable company, so it is unlikely we’ll see a strong correlation between its share price and its earnings per share (EPS). Arguably revenue is our next best option. Generally speaking, companies without profits are expected to grow revenue every year, and at a good clip. As you can imagine, fast revenue growth, when maintained, often leads to fast profit growth.
In the last half decade, China e-Wallet Payment Group saw its revenue increase by 20% per year. That’s well above most other pre-profit companies. So on the face of it we’re really surprised to see the share price has averaged a fall of 35% each year, in the same time period. You’d have to assume the market is worried that profits won’t come soon enough. While there might be an opportunity here, you’d want to take a close look at the balance sheet strength.
You can see below how revenue has changed over time.
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. Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here..
What about the Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?
We’ve already covered China e-Wallet Payment Group’s share price action, but we should also mention its total shareholder return (TSR). Arguably the TSR is a more complete return calculation because it accounts for the value of dividends (as if they were reinvested), along with the hypothetical value of any discounted capital that have been offered to shareholders. We note that China e-Wallet Payment Group’s TSR, at -73% is higher than its share price return of -88%. When you consider it hasn’t been paying a dividend, this data suggests shareholders have benefitted from a spin-off, or had the opportunity to acquire attractively priced shares in a discounted capital raising.
A Different Perspective
We regret to report that China e-Wallet Payment Group shareholders are down 45% for the year. Unfortunately, that’s worse than the broader market decline of 5.3%. However, it could simply be that the share price has been impacted by broader market jitters. It might be worth keeping an eye on the fundamentals, in case there’s a good opportunity. Regrettably, last year’s performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 23% per year over five years. Generally speaking long term share price weakness can be a bad sign, though contrarian investors might want to research the stock in hope of a turnaround. Shareholders might want to examine this detailed historical graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flow.
If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).
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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If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.com. This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.