When we invest, we’re generally looking for stocks that outperform the market average. And while active stock picking involves risks (and requires diversification) it can also provide excess returns. For example, the BOC Hong Kong (Holdings) Limited (HKG:2388) share price is up 57% in the last 5 years, clearly besting than the market return of around 20% (ignoring dividends).
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 half a decade, BOC Hong Kong (Holdings) managed to grow its earnings per share at 7.5% a year. This EPS growth is reasonably close to the 9.4% average annual increase in the share price. Therefore one could conclude that sentiment towards the shares hasn’t morphed very much. Indeed, it would appear the share price is reacting to the EPS.
The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).
We know that BOC Hong Kong (Holdings) has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? You could check out this free report showing analyst revenue forecasts.
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. As it happens, BOC Hong Kong (Holdings)’s TSR for the last 5 years was 95%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.
A Different Perspective
While it’s never nice to take a loss, BOC Hong Kong (Holdings) shareholders can take comfort that, including dividends, their trailing twelve month loss of 1.8% wasn’t as bad as the market loss of around 2.8%. Of course, the long term returns are far more important and the good news is that over five years, the stock has returned 14% for each year. In the best case scenario the last year is just a temporary blip on the journey to a brighter future. Before forming an opinion on BOC Hong Kong (Holdings) you might want to consider the cold hard cash it pays as a dividend. This free chart tracks its dividend over time.
But note: BOC Hong Kong (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.
We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.