- Saudi Arabia
The three-year decline in earnings for Advanced Petrochemical TADAWUL:2330) isn't encouraging, but shareholders are still up 53% over that period
One simple way to benefit from the stock market is to buy an index fund. But if you choose individual stocks with prowess, you can make superior returns. For example, Advanced Petrochemical Company (TADAWUL:2330) shareholders have seen the share price rise 34% over three years, well in excess of the market return (23%, not including dividends).
In light of the stock dropping 5.1% in the past week, we want to investigate the longer term story, and see if fundamentals have been the driver of the company's positive three-year return.
See our latest analysis for Advanced Petrochemical
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...' 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.
Over the last three years, Advanced Petrochemical failed to grow earnings per share, which fell 14% (annualized).
Thus, it seems unlikely that the market is focussed on EPS growth at the moment. Since the change in EPS doesn't seem to correlate with the change in share price, it's worth taking a look at other metrics.
We doubt the dividend payments explain the share price rise, since we don't see any improvement in that regard. It's much more likely that the fact that Advanced Petrochemical has been growing revenue at 12% a year is seen as a genuine positive. In that case, the revenue growth might be more important to shareholders, for now, thus justifying a higer share price.
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?
As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). 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 or spin-off. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. We note that for Advanced Petrochemical the TSR over the last 3 years was 53%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
We regret to report that Advanced Petrochemical shareholders are down 30% for the year (even including dividends). Unfortunately, that's worse than the broader market decline of 16%. 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. On the bright side, long term shareholders have made money, with a gain of 9% per year over half a decade. If the fundamental data continues to indicate long term sustainable growth, the current sell-off could be an opportunity worth considering. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Advanced Petrochemical better, we need to consider many other factors. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 4 warning signs with Advanced Petrochemical (at least 2 which make us uncomfortable) , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.
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 Saudi exchanges.
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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.
Advanced Petrochemical Company, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the production and sale of propylene, polypropylene, isopropyl alcohol, polysilicon, and polysilicon downstream products in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and internationally.
High growth potential and overvalued.