Imagine Owning Charmacy Pharmaceutical (HKG:2289) And Wondering If The 17% Share Price Slide Is Justified

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In order to justify the effort of selecting individual stocks, it’s worth striving to beat the returns from a market index fund. But in any portfolio, there are likely to be some stocks that fall short of that benchmark. We regret to report that long term Charmacy Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (HKG:2289) shareholders have had that experience, with the share price dropping 17% in three years, versus a market return of about 31%. It’s up 4.3% in the last seven days.

See our latest analysis for Charmacy Pharmaceutical

While the efficient markets hypothesis continues to be taught by some, it has been proven that markets are over-reactive dynamic systems, and investors are not always rational. 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 unfortunate three years of share price decline, Charmacy Pharmaceutical actually saw its earnings per share (EPS) improve by 9.2% per year. This is quite a puzzle, and suggests there might be something temporarily buoying the share price. Alternatively, growth expectations may have been unreasonable in the past. It’s worth taking a look at other metrics, because the EPS growth doesn’t seem to match with the falling share price.

It’s quite likely that the declining dividend has caused some investors to sell their shares, pushing the price lower in the process. In contrast it does not seem particularly likely that the revenue levels are a concern for investors.

You can see how revenue and earnings have changed over time in the image below, (click on the chart to see cashflow).

SEHK:2289 Income Statement, June 20th 2019
SEHK:2289 Income Statement, June 20th 2019

It’s probably worth noting that the CEO is paid less than the median at similar sized companies. But while CEO remuneration is always worth checking, the really important question is whether the company can grow earnings going forward. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on Charmacy Pharmaceutical’s earnings, revenue and cash flow.

What About Dividends?

As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). The TSR is a return calculation that accounts for the value of cash dividends (assuming that any dividend received was reinvested) and the calculated value of any discounted capital raisings and spin-offs. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. As it happens, Charmacy Pharmaceutical’s TSR for the last 3 years was -3.7%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.

A Different Perspective

Charmacy Pharmaceutical shareholders are down 8.9% over twelve months (even including dividends), which isn’t far from the market return of -9.8%. Over three years shareholders have low 1.2% per year. This suggests the company might have some problems, not least because the last year saw an even steeper fall. Some people who buy stocks with declining share prices get called ‘bagholders’, which is slang for a person who owns worthless shares. Investors need thick skin. Before forming an opinion on Charmacy Pharmaceutical you might want to consider the cold hard cash it pays as a dividend. This free chart tracks its dividend over time.

If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.

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 editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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.