In order to justify the effort of selecting individual stocks, it's worth striving to beat the returns from a market index fund. But the main game is to find enough winners to more than offset the losers So we wouldn't blame long term Kee Tai Properties Co. Ltd. (TPE:2538) shareholders for doubting their decision to hold, with the stock down 41% over a half decade.
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 flawed but reasonable way to assess how sentiment around a company has changed is to compare the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price.
Over five years Kee Tai Properties' earnings per share dropped significantly, falling to a loss, with the share price also lower. Since the company has fallen to a loss making position, it's hard to compare the change in EPS with the share price change. However, we can say we'd expect to see a falling share price in this scenario.
The company's earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here.
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. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. We note that for Kee Tai Properties the TSR over the last 5 years was -15%, 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
Kee Tai Properties shareholders gained a total return of 27% during the year. But that was short of the market average. On the bright side, that's still a gain, and it is certainly better than the yearly loss of about 3% endured over half a decade. It could well be that the business is stabilizing. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Kee Tai Properties better, we need to consider many other factors. To that end, you should learn about the 3 warning signs we've spotted with Kee Tai Properties (including 2 which are a bit concerning) .
Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of companies we expect will grow earnings.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on TW 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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