Anxian Yuan China Holdings Limited (HKG:922) shareholders will doubtless be very grateful to see the share price up 44% in the last quarter. But that doesn't change the fact that the returns over the last half decade have been stomach churning. Indeed, the share price is down a whopping 85% in that time. So we don't gain too much confidence from the recent recovery. The million dollar question is whether the company can justify a long term recovery.
We really hope anyone holding through that price crash has a diversified portfolio. Even when you lose money, you don't have to lose the lesson.
In his essay The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville Warren Buffett described how share prices do not always rationally reflect the value of a business. By comparing earnings per share (EPS) and share price changes over time, we can get a feel for how investor attitudes to a company have morphed over time.
While the share price declined over five years, Anxian Yuan China Holdings actually managed to increase EPS by an average of 5.6% per year. So it doesn't seem like EPS is a great guide to understanding how the market is valuing the stock. Or possibly, the market was previously very optimistic, so the stock has disappointed, despite improving EPS.
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.
The steady dividend doesn't really explain why the share price is down. While it's not completely obvious why the share price is down, a closer look at the company's history might help explain it.
You can see below how earnings and revenue have changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
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. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on Anxian Yuan China Holdings' earnings, revenue and cash flow.
A Different Perspective
It's nice to see that Anxian Yuan China Holdings shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 57% over the last year. And that does include the dividend. That certainly beats the loss of about 13% per year over the last half decade. This makes us a little wary, but the business might have turned around its fortunes. 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. Case in point: We've spotted 4 warning signs for Anxian Yuan China Holdings you should be aware of, and 1 of them doesn't sit too well with us.
Anxian Yuan China Holdings 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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