Long term investing works well, but it doesn't always work for each individual stock. We don't wish catastrophic capital loss on anyone. Anyone who held China Oceanwide Holdings Limited (HKG:715) for five years would be nursing their metaphorical wounds since the share price dropped 86% in that time. And we doubt long term believers are the only worried holders, since the stock price has declined 69% over the last twelve months. Shareholders have had an even rougher run lately, with the share price down 47% in the last 90 days. But this could be related to the weak market, which is down 22% in the same period.
We really hope anyone holding through that price crash has a diversified portfolio. Even when you lose money, you don't have to lose the lesson.
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 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 five years China Oceanwide Holdings's earnings per share dropped significantly, falling to a loss, with the share price also lower. At present it's hard to make valid comparisons between EPS and the share price. However, we can say we'd expect to see a falling share price in this scenario.
You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
Dive deeper into China Oceanwide Holdings's key metrics by checking this interactive graph of China Oceanwide Holdings's earnings, revenue and cash flow.
A Different Perspective
While the broader market lost about 23% in the twelve months, China Oceanwide Holdings shareholders did even worse, losing 69%. Having said that, it's inevitable that some stocks will be oversold in a falling market. The key is to keep your eyes on the fundamental developments. Regrettably, last year's performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 33% per year over five years. 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. While it is well worth considering the different impacts that market conditions can have on the share price, there are other factors that are even more important. Take risks, for example - China Oceanwide Holdings has 4 warning signs (and 2 which can't be ignored) we think you should know about.
Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of companies we expect will 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.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned.
We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Thank you for reading.
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