Optimism for Convenience Retail Asia (HKG:831) has grown this past week, despite five-year decline in earnings

By
Simply Wall St
Published
March 23, 2022
SEHK:831
Source: Shutterstock

This week we saw the Convenience Retail Asia Limited (HKG:831) share price climb by 15%. While a drop like that is definitely a body blow, money isn't as important as health and happiness.

The recent uptick of 15% could be a positive sign of things to come, so let's take a lot at historical fundamentals.

View our latest analysis for Convenience Retail Asia

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 imperfect but simple way to consider how the market perception of a company has shifted is to compare the change in the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price movement.

During the five years over which the share price declined, Convenience Retail Asia's earnings per share (EPS) dropped by 12% each year. This reduction in EPS is less than the 28% annual reduction in the share price. This implies that the market was previously too optimistic about the stock. The low P/E ratio of 8.56 further reflects this reticence.

The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).

earnings-per-share-growth
SEHK:831 Earnings Per Share Growth March 23rd 2022

We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. This free interactive report on Convenience Retail Asia's earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.

What About Dividends?

It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. 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, Convenience Retail Asia's TSR for the last 5 years was 64%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

It's nice to see that Convenience Retail Asia shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 17% over the last year. Of course, that includes the dividend. Since the one-year TSR is better than the five-year TSR (the latter coming in at 10% per year), it would seem that the stock's performance has improved in recent times. In the best case scenario, this may hint at some real business momentum, implying that now could be a great time to delve deeper. 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. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 3 warning signs with Convenience Retail Asia (at least 1 which is a bit unpleasant) , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

Convenience Retail Asia is not the only stock that insiders are buying. For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.

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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