Earnings growth of 1.5% over 1 year hasn't been enough to translate into positive returns for Zhongliang Holdings Group (HKG:2772) shareholders

By
Simply Wall St
Published
November 07, 2021
SEHK:2772
Source: Shutterstock

Passive investing in an index fund is a good way to ensure your own returns roughly match the overall market. When you buy individual stocks, you can make higher profits, but you also face the risk of under-performance. For example, the Zhongliang Holdings Group Company Limited (HKG:2772) share price is down 33% in the last year. That contrasts poorly with the market decline of 0.03%. Zhongliang Holdings Group hasn't been listed for long, so although we're wary of recent listings that perform poorly, it may still prove itself with time. Furthermore, it's down 24% in about a quarter. That's not much fun for holders.

Given the past week has been tough on shareholders, let's investigate the fundamentals and see what we can learn.

See our latest analysis for Zhongliang Holdings Group

While the efficient markets hypothesis continues to be taught by some, it has been proven that markets are over-reactive dynamic systems, and investors are not always rational. 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 the unfortunate twelve months during which the Zhongliang Holdings Group share price fell, it actually saw its earnings per share (EPS) improve by 1.5%. Of course, the situation might betray previous over-optimism about growth.

It seems quite likely that the market was expecting higher growth from the stock. But other metrics might shed some light on why the share price is down.

We don't see any weakness in the Zhongliang Holdings Group's dividend so the steady payout can't really explain the share price drop. The revenue trend doesn't seem to explain why the share price is down. Unless, of course, the market was expecting a revenue uptick.

The company's revenue and earnings (over time) are depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).

earnings-and-revenue-growth
SEHK:2772 Earnings and Revenue Growth November 8th 2021

This free interactive report on Zhongliang Holdings Group's balance sheet strength is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.

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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. As it happens, Zhongliang Holdings Group's TSR for the last 1 year was -28%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

Given that the market gained 0.03% in the last year, Zhongliang Holdings Group shareholders might be miffed that they lost 28% (even including dividends). However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. With the stock down 24% over the last three months, the market doesn't seem to believe that the company has solved all its problems. Given the relatively short history of this stock, we'd remain pretty wary until we see some strong business performance. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Zhongliang Holdings Group better, we need to consider many other factors. Like risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 3 warning signs for Zhongliang Holdings Group (of which 1 is significant!) 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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