If you want to compound wealth in the stock market, you can do so by buying an index fund. But you can significantly boost your returns by picking above-average stocks. To wit, the CapitaLand Limited (SGX:C31) share price is 26% higher than it was a year ago, much better than the market return of around 20% (not including dividends) in the same period. If it can keep that out-performance up over the long term, investors will do very well! However, the longer term returns haven't been so impressive, with the stock up just 5.2% in the last three years.
There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. 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.
Over the last twelve months CapitaLand went from profitable to unprofitable. While this may prove temporary, we'd consider it a negative, so we would not have expected to see the share price up. We might get a clue to explain the share price move by looking to other metrics.
However the year on year revenue growth of 4.8% would help. We do see some companies suppress earnings in order to accelerate revenue growth.
The image below shows how earnings and revenue have tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
It's good to see that there was some significant insider buying in the last three months. That's a positive. On the other hand, we think the revenue and earnings trends are much more meaningful measures of the business. If you are thinking of buying or selling CapitaLand stock, you should check out this free report showing analyst profit forecasts.
What About Dividends?
When looking at investment returns, it is important to consider the difference between total shareholder return (TSR) and share price return. 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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. In the case of CapitaLand, it has a TSR of 35% for the last year. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
We're pleased to report that CapitaLand shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 35% over one year. Of course, that includes the dividend. That's better than the annualised return of 8% over half a decade, implying that the company is doing better recently. In the best case scenario, this may hint at some real business momentum, implying that now could be a great time to delve deeper. 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 - CapitaLand has 3 warning signs (and 1 which is a bit unpleasant) we think you should know about.
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 SG 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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