For many investors, the main point of stock picking is to generate higher returns than the overall market. But the risk of stock picking is that you will likely buy under-performing companies. Unfortunately, that’s been the case for longer term Fairwood Holdings Limited (HKG:52) shareholders, since the share price is down 46% in the last three years, falling well short of the market decline of around 0.9%. And more recent buyers are having a tough time too, with a drop of 32% in the last year. It’s down 5.3% in the last seven days.
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 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 that the share price fell, Fairwood Holdings’s earnings per share (EPS) dropped by 13% each year. The share price decline of 19% is actually steeper than the EPS slippage. So it’s likely that the EPS decline has disappointed the market, leaving investors hesitant to buy.
The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).
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. This free interactive report on Fairwood Holdings’s earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.
What About Dividends?
When looking at investment returns, it is important to consider the difference between total shareholder return (TSR) and share price return. 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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. As it happens, Fairwood Holdings’s TSR for the last 3 years was -38%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.
A Different Perspective
We regret to report that Fairwood Holdings shareholders are down 29% for the year (even including dividends) . Unfortunately, that’s worse than the broader market decline of 6.5%. Having said that, it’s inevitable that some stocks will be oversold in a falling market. The key is to keep your eyes on the fundamental developments. Regrettably, last year’s performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 0.6% per year over five years. We realise that Baron Rothschild has said investors should “buy when there is blood on the streets”, but we caution that investors should first be sure they are buying a high quality business. 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. Even so, be aware that Fairwood Holdings is showing 2 warning signs in our investment analysis , you should know about…
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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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. 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. Thank you for reading.