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Vanguard founder Jack Bogle helped spearhead the low-cost index fund, putting average returns within reach of every investor. But if you pick the right individual stocks, you could make more than that. Notably, the Ming Fai International Holdings Limited (HKG:3828) share price has gained 57% in three years, which is better than the average market return. In contrast, the stock is actually down 9.8% in the last year, suggesting a lack of positive momentum.
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. 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 three years of share price growth, Ming Fai International Holdings achieved compound earnings per share growth of 15% per year. We note that the 16% yearly (average) share price gain isn’t too far from the EPS growth rate. Coincidence? Probably not. That suggests that the market sentiment around the company hasn’t changed much over that time. Au contraire, the share price change has arguably mimicked the EPS growth.
The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Even so, future earnings will be far more important to whether current shareholders make money. Dive deeper into the earnings by checking this interactive graph of Ming Fai International Holdings’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). 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. It’s fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. In the case of Ming Fai International Holdings, it has a TSR of 121% for the last 3 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
While it’s certainly disappointing to see that Ming Fai International Holdings shares lost 4.0% throughout the year, that wasn’t as bad as the market loss of 7.4%. Of course, the long term returns are far more important and the good news is that over five years, the stock has returned 16% for each year. In the best case scenario the last year is just a temporary blip on the journey to a brighter future. It is all well and good that insiders have been buying shares, but we suggest you check here to see what price insiders were buying at.
Ming Fai International Holdings is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with insider 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 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.