We're definitely into long term investing, but some companies are simply bad investments over any time frame. It hits us in the gut when we see fellow investors suffer a loss. Imagine if you held Beijing Enterprises Environment Group Limited (HKG:154) for half a decade as the share price tanked 72%. And we doubt long term believers are the only worried holders, since the stock price has declined 28% over the last twelve months.
After losing 18% this past week, it's worth investigating the company's fundamentals to see what we can infer from past performance.
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.
While the share price declined over five years, Beijing Enterprises Environment Group actually managed to increase EPS by an average of 17% per year. Given the share price reaction, one might suspect that EPS is not a good guide to the business performance during the period (perhaps due to a one-off loss or gain). Alternatively, growth expectations may have been unreasonable in the past.
Due to the lack of correlation between the EPS growth and the falling share price, it's worth taking a look at other metrics to try to understand the share price movement.
In contrast to the share price, revenue has actually increased by 19% a year in the five year period. A more detailed examination of the revenue and earnings may or may not explain why the share price languishes; there could be an opportunity.
The image below shows how earnings and revenue have tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
If you are thinking of buying or selling Beijing Enterprises Environment Group stock, you should check out this FREE detailed report on its balance sheet.
A Different Perspective
Although it hurts that Beijing Enterprises Environment Group returned a loss of 28% in the last twelve months, the broader market was actually worse, returning a loss of 31%. Given the total loss of 11% per year over five years, it seems returns have deteriorated in the last twelve months. While some investors do well specializing in buying companies that are struggling (but nonetheless undervalued), don't forget that Buffett said that 'turnarounds seldom turn'. 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. Take risks, for example - Beijing Enterprises Environment Group has 6 warning signs (and 1 which is significant) we think 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. 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.