Investors in Swire Pacific (HKG:19) from three years ago are still down 46%, even after 4.1% gain this past week

By
Simply Wall St
Published
March 10, 2022
SEHK:19
Source: Shutterstock

As an investor its worth striving to ensure your overall portfolio beats the market average. But if you try your hand at stock picking, your risk returning less than the market. Unfortunately, that's been the case for longer term Swire Pacific Limited (HKG:19) shareholders, since the share price is down 52% in the last three years, falling well short of the market decline of around 3.8%.

Although the past week has been more reassuring for shareholders, they're still in the red over the last three years, so let's see if the underlying business has been responsible for the decline.

Check out our latest analysis for Swire Pacific

While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. 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).

Swire Pacific has made a profit in the past. However, it made a loss in the last twelve months, suggesting profit may be an unreliable metric at this stage. Other metrics may better explain the share price move.

It's quite likely that the declining dividend has caused some investors to sell their shares, pushing the price lower in the process. It doesn't seem like the changes in revenue would have impacted the share price much, but a closer inspection of the data might reveal something.

You can see below how earnings and revenue have changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).

earnings-and-revenue-growth
SEHK:19 Earnings and Revenue Growth March 10th 2022

Balance sheet strength is crucial. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on how its financial position has changed over time.

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 or spin-off. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. As it happens, Swire Pacific's TSR for the last 3 years was -46%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

While it's never nice to take a loss, Swire Pacific shareholders can take comfort that , including dividends,their trailing twelve month loss of 15% wasn't as bad as the market loss of around 23%. Unfortunately, last year's performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it's worse than the annualised loss of 6% over the last half decade. While some investors do well specializing in buying companies that are struggling (but nonetheless undervalued), don't forget that Buffett said that 'turnarounds seldom turn'. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Swire Pacific better, we need to consider many other factors. For example, we've discovered 1 warning sign for Swire Pacific that you should be aware of before investing here.

We will like Swire Pacific better if we see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, 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.

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