Eastern Province Cement (TADAWUL:3080) sheds 7.3% this week, as yearly returns fall more in line with earnings growth

By
Simply Wall St
Published
December 01, 2021
SASE:3080
Source: Shutterstock

It hasn't been the best quarter for Eastern Province Cement Co. (TADAWUL:3080) shareholders, since the share price has fallen 16% in that time. But that doesn't undermine the rather lovely longer-term return, if you measure over the last three years. Indeed, the share price is up a very strong 122% in that time. To some, the recent share price pullback wouldn't be surprising after such a good run. Only time will tell if there is still too much optimism currently reflected in the share price.

Although Eastern Province Cement has shed ر.س292m from its market cap this week, let's take a look at its longer term fundamental trends and see if they've driven returns.

See our latest analysis for Eastern Province Cement

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.

Eastern Province Cement was able to grow its EPS at 61% per year over three years, sending the share price higher. The average annual share price increase of 30% is actually lower than the EPS growth. So it seems investors have become more cautious about the company, over time.

You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).

earnings-per-share-growth
SASE:3080 Earnings Per Share Growth December 2nd 2021

It is of course excellent to see how Eastern Province Cement has grown profits over the years, but the future is more important for shareholders. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on how its financial position has changed over time.

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 or spin-off. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. We note that for Eastern Province Cement the TSR over the last 3 years was 158%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!

A Different Perspective

It's good to see that Eastern Province Cement has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 19% in the last twelve months. Of course, that includes the dividend. That gain is better than the annual TSR over five years, which is 11%. Therefore it seems like sentiment around the company has been positive lately. Someone with an optimistic perspective could view the recent improvement in TSR as indicating that the business itself is getting better with time. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Eastern Province Cement better, we need to consider many other factors. Take risks, for example - Eastern Province Cement has 1 warning sign we think you should be aware of.

If you would prefer to check out another company -- one with potentially superior financials -- then do not miss this free list of companies that have proven they can grow earnings.

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on SA exchanges.

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