For many investors, the main point of stock picking is to generate higher returns than the overall market. But the risk of stock picking is that you will likely buy under-performing companies. We regret to report that long term Oriental Press Group Limited (HKG:18) shareholders have had that experience, with the share price dropping 62% in three years, versus a market decline of about 8.6%. And more recent buyers are having a tough time too, with a drop of 34% in the last year. There was little comfort for shareholders in the last week as the price declined a further 2.5%.
To quote Buffett, 'Ships will sail around the world but the Flat Earth Society will flourish. There will continue to be wide discrepancies between price and value in the marketplace...' One way to examine how market sentiment has changed over time is to look at the interaction between a company's share price and its earnings per share (EPS).
Over the three years that the share price declined, Oriental Press Group's earnings per share (EPS) dropped significantly, falling to a loss. Extraordinary items contributed to this situation. Since the company has fallen to a loss making position, it's hard to compare the change in EPS with the share price change. However, we can say we'd expect to see a falling share price in this scenario.
You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
This free interactive report on Oriental Press Group's earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.
What about the Total Shareholder Return (TSR)?
Investors should note that there's a difference between Oriental Press Group's total shareholder return (TSR) and its share price change, which we've covered above. The TSR attempts to capture the value of dividends (as if they were reinvested) as well as any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings offered to shareholders. Oriental Press Group's TSR of was a loss of 46% for the 3 years. That wasn't as bad as its share price return, because it has paid dividends.
A Different Perspective
Oriental Press Group shareholders are down 34% for the year, but the market itself is up 2.7%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Unfortunately, last year's performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it was worse than the annualised loss of 5% over the last half decade. We realise that Baron Rothschild has said investors should "buy when there is blood on the streets", but we caution that investors should first be sure they are buying a high quality business. You could get a better understanding of Oriental Press Group's growth by checking out this more detailed historical graph of earnings, revenue and cash flow.
If you would prefer to check out another company -- one with potentially superior financials -- then do not miss this free list of companies that have proven they can grow earnings.
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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