If You Had Bought China Telecom Stock Five Years Ago, You Could Pocket A 28% Gain Today

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The main point of investing for the long term is to make money. Furthermore, you’d generally like to see the share price rise faster than the market But China Telecom Corporation Limited (HKG:728) has fallen short of that second goal, with a share price rise of 28% over five years, which is below the market return. But if you include dividends then the return is market-beating. On a brighter note, more newer shareholders are probably rather content with the 24% share price gain over twelve months.

View our latest analysis for China Telecom

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 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).

During five years of share price growth, China Telecom achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 5.6% per year. This EPS growth is reasonably close to the 5.1% average annual increase in the share price. This indicates that investor sentiment towards the company has not changed a great deal. In fact, the share price seems to largely reflect the EPS growth.

The company’s earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).

SEHK:728 Past Future Earnings February 20th 19
SEHK:728 Past Future Earnings February 20th 19

We’re pleased to report that the CEO is remunerated more modestly than most CEOs at similarly capitalized companies. But while CEO remuneration is always worth checking, the really important question is whether the company can grow earnings going forward. Dive deeper into the earnings by checking this interactive graph of China Telecom’s earnings, revenue and cash flow.

What About Dividends?

It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. 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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. As it happens, China Telecom’s TSR for the last 5 years was 45%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.

A Different Perspective

It’s nice to see that China Telecom shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 28% over the last year. Of course, that includes the dividend. Since the one-year TSR is better than the five-year TSR (the latter coming in at 7.8% per year), it would seem that the stock’s performance has improved in recent times. Given the share price momentum remains strong, it might be worth taking a closer look at the stock, lest you miss an opportunity. Before forming an opinion on China Telecom you might want to consider these 3 valuation metrics.

We will like China Telecom 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.

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.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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. Thank you for reading.