China SCE Group Holdings Limited (HKG:1966) shareholders might be concerned after seeing the share price drop 12% in the last quarter. But that doesn't change the fact that the returns over the last five years have been very strong. We think most investors would be happy with the 105% return, over that period. So while it's never fun to see a share price fall, it's important to look at a longer time horizon. Only time will tell if there is still too much optimism currently reflected in the share price.
To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it's a weighing machine. By comparing earnings per share (EPS) and share price changes over time, we can get a feel for how investor attitudes to a company have morphed over time.
During five years of share price growth, China SCE Group Holdings achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 20% per year. The EPS growth is more impressive than the yearly share price gain of 15% over the same period. Therefore, it seems the market has become relatively pessimistic about the company. The reasonably low P/E ratio of 3.29 also suggests market apprehension.
The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
It's probably worth noting we've seen significant insider buying in the last quarter, which we consider a positive. On the other hand, we think the revenue and earnings trends are much more meaningful measures of the business. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on China SCE Group Holdings' 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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. We note that for China SCE Group Holdings the TSR over the last 5 years was 171%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.
A Different Perspective
China SCE Group Holdings shareholders gained a total return of 0.6% during the year. But that return falls short of the market. On the bright side, the longer term returns (running at about 22% a year, over half a decade) look better. Maybe the share price is just taking a breather while the business executes on its growth strategy. 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. To that end, you should learn about the 3 warning signs we've spotted with China SCE Group Holdings (including 2 which is are a bit unpleasant) .
China SCE Group Holdings is not the only stock that insiders are buying. For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.
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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