We believe investing is smart because history shows that stock markets go higher in the long term. But if you choose that path, you're going to buy some stocks that fall short of the market. Over the last year the Chokwang Paint Co., Ltd. (KRX:004910) share price is up 95%, but that's less than the broader market return. Unfortunately the longer term returns are not so good, with the stock falling 26% in the last three years.
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 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 last year Chokwang Paint grew its earnings per share, moving from a loss to a profit.
When a company is just on the edge of profitability it can be well worth considering other metrics in order to more precisely gauge growth (and therefore understand share price movements).
Revenue was pretty flat year on year, but maybe a closer look at the data can explain the market optimism.
You can see below how earnings and revenue have changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
You can see how its balance sheet has strengthened (or weakened) over time in this free interactive graphic.
What About Dividends?
It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. 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. As it happens, Chokwang Paint's TSR for the last year was 102%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!
A Different Perspective
Chokwang Paint's TSR for the year was broadly in line with the market average, at 102%. The silver lining is that the share price is up in the short term, which flies in the face of the annualised loss of 7% over the last five years. We're pretty skeptical of turnaround stories, but it's good to see the recent share price recovery. 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 5 warning signs we've spotted with Chokwang Paint (including 2 which shouldn't be ignored) .
If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on KR 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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