When we invest, we're generally looking for stocks that outperform the market average. And in our experience, buying the right stocks can give your wealth a significant boost. To wit, the Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China share price has climbed 97% in five years, easily topping the market decline of 1.9% (ignoring dividends).
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 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.
Over half a decade, Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China managed to grow its earnings per share at 17% a year. So the EPS growth rate is rather close to the annualized share price gain of 15% per year. This indicates that investor sentiment towards the company has not changed a great deal. Indeed, it would appear the share price is reacting to the EPS.
The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
Dive deeper into Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China's key metrics by checking this interactive graph of Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China'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. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. In the case of Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China, it has a TSR of 122% for the last 5 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
Investors in Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China had a tough year, with a total loss of 4.6% (including dividends), against a market gain of about 4.5%. Even the share prices of good stocks drop sometimes, but we want to see improvements in the fundamental metrics of a business, before getting too interested. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 17%, each year, over five years. If the fundamental data continues to indicate long term sustainable growth, the current sell-off could be an opportunity worth considering. 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. Like risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 3 warning signs for Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China (of which 1 doesn't sit too well with us!) 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. 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.
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