A Look At Hwa Hong's (SGX:H19) Share Price Returns

By
Simply Wall St
Published
May 31, 2021
SGX:H19
Source: Shutterstock

Many investors define successful investing as beating the market average over the long term. But its virtually certain that sometimes you will buy stocks that fall short of the market average returns. Unfortunately, that's been the case for longer term Hwa Hong Corporation Limited (SGX:H19) shareholders, since the share price is down 11% in the last three years, falling well short of the market decline of around 1.4%. It's down 1.8% in the last seven days.

View our latest analysis for Hwa Hong

While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. 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.

Hwa Hong saw its EPS decline at a compound rate of 18% per year, over the last three years. In comparison the 4% compound annual share price decline isn't as bad as the EPS drop-off. This suggests that the market retains some optimism around long term earnings stability, despite past EPS declines.

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
SGX:H19 Earnings Per Share Growth June 1st 2021

We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. Dive deeper into the earnings by checking this interactive graph of Hwa Hong's earnings, revenue and cash flow.

What About Dividends?

When looking at investment returns, it is important to consider the difference between total shareholder return (TSR) and share price return. The TSR incorporates the value of any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings, along with any dividends, based on the assumption that the dividends are reinvested. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. We note that for Hwa Hong the TSR over the last 3 years was -1.9%, 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

Investors in Hwa Hong had a tough year, with a total loss of 3.6% (including dividends), against a market gain of about 23%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 2%, each year, over five years. It could be that the recent sell-off is an opportunity, so it may be worth checking the fundamental data for signs of a long term growth trend. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Hwa Hong better, we need to consider many other factors. Take risks, for example - Hwa Hong has 4 warning signs (and 2 which are concerning) 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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