When we invest, we’re generally looking for stocks that outperform the market average. And the truth is, you can make significant gains if you buy good quality businesses at the right price. For example, long term Hong Fok Corporation Limited (SGX:H30) shareholders have enjoyed a 32% share price rise over the last half decade, well in excess of the market return of around -1.9% (not including dividends). However, more recent returns haven’t been as impressive as that, with the stock returning just 8.7% in the last year, including dividends.
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 way to examine how market sentiment has changed over time is to look at the interaction between a company’s share price and its earnings per share (EPS).
During five years of share price growth, Hong Fok actually saw its EPS drop 8.9% per year. Essentially, it doesn’t seem likely that investors are focused on EPS. Because earnings per share don’t seem to match up with the share price, we’ll take a look at other metrics instead.
We doubt the modest 1.1% dividend yield is attracting many buyers to the stock. The revenue reduction of 18% per year is not a positive. So it seems one might have to take closer look at earnings and revenue trends to see how they might influence the share price.
You can see how revenue and earnings have changed over time in the image below, (click on the chart to see cashflow).
It’s probably worth noting we’ve seen significant insider buying in the last quarter, which we consider a positive. That said, we think earnings and revenue growth trends are even more important factors to consider. This free interactive report on Hong Fok’s earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.
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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. In the case of Hong Fok, it has a TSR of 43% for the last 5 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. And there’s no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!
A Different Perspective
It’s nice to see that Hong Fok shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 8.7% over the last year. And that does include the dividend. Since the one-year TSR is better than the five-year TSR (the latter coming in at 7.4% per year), it would seem that the stock’s performance has improved in recent times. Given the share price momentum remains strong, it might be worth taking a closer look at the stock, lest you miss an opportunity. It is all well and good that insiders have been buying shares, but we suggest you check here to see what price insiders were buying at.
Hong Fok is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with insider buying.Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on SG exchanges.
We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.com. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.