For many, the main point of investing is to generate higher returns than the overall market. But in any portfolio, there will be mixed results between individual stocks. At this point some shareholders may be questioning their investment in China Coal Energy Company Limited (HKG:1898), since the last five years saw the share price fall 28%. Unhappily, the share price slid 3.0% in the last week.
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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.
During five years of share price growth, China Coal Energy moved from a loss to profitability. Most would consider that to be a good thing, so it's counter-intuitive to see the share price declining. Other metrics may better explain the share price move.
Revenue is actually up 8.5% over the time period. A more detailed examination of the revenue and earnings may or may not explain why the share price languishes; there could be an opportunity.
The chart below shows how revenue and earnings have changed with time, (if you click on the chart you can see the actual values).
China Coal Energy is well known by investors, and plenty of clever analysts have tried to predict the future profit levels. So it makes a lot of sense to check out what analysts think China Coal Energy will earn in the future (free analyst consensus estimates)
What About Dividends?
It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. 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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. We note that for China Coal Energy the TSR over the last 5 years was -25%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
While it's never nice to take a loss, China Coal Energy shareholders can take comfort that, including dividends, their trailing twelve month loss of 9.6% wasn't as bad as the market loss of around 12%. Unfortunately, last year's performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it's worse than the annualised loss of 5.6% over the last half decade. Whilst Warren Buffett does say to 'buy when there is blood on the streets', buyers would need to examine the data carefully to be comfortable that the business itself is sound. Is China Coal Energy cheap compared to other companies? These 3 valuation measures might help you decide.
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 HK 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.