BOC Hong Kong (Holdings) (HKG:2388) shareholders have endured a 6.9% loss from investing in the stock five years ago

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Ideally, your overall portfolio should beat the market average. But every investor is virtually certain to have both over-performing and under-performing stocks. At this point some shareholders may be questioning their investment in BOC Hong Kong (Holdings) Limited (HKG:2388), since the last five years saw the share price fall 28%.

So let’s have a look and see if the longer term performance of the company has been in line with the underlying business’ progress.

Check out our latest analysis for BOC Hong Kong (Holdings)

To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it’s a weighing machine. 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 the unfortunate half decade during which the share price slipped, BOC Hong Kong (Holdings) actually saw its earnings per share (EPS) improve by 0.1% per year. Given the share price reaction, one might suspect that EPS is not a good guide to the business performance during the period (perhaps due to a one-off loss or gain). Alternatively, growth expectations may have been unreasonable in the past.

By glancing at these numbers, we’d posit that the the market had expectations of much higher growth, five years ago. Having said that, we might get a better idea of what’s going on with the stock by looking at other metrics.

The most recent dividend was actually lower than it was in the past, so that may have sent the share price lower. The revenue decline of 0.6% per year wouldn’t have helped. So it seems weak revenue and dividend trends may have influenced the share price.

You can see below how earnings and revenue have changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).

SEHK:2388 Earnings and Revenue Growth December 17th 2023

BOC Hong Kong (Holdings) is well known by investors, and plenty of clever analysts have tried to predict the future profit levels. You can see what analysts are predicting for BOC Hong Kong (Holdings) in this interactive graph of future profit estimates.

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 is a return calculation that accounts for the value of cash dividends (assuming that any dividend received was reinvested) and the calculated value of any discounted capital raisings and spin-offs. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. As it happens, BOC Hong Kong (Holdings)’s TSR for the last 5 years was -6.9%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. And there’s no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!

A Different Perspective

While the broader market lost about 7.8% in the twelve months, BOC Hong Kong (Holdings) shareholders did even worse, losing 15% (even including dividends). Having said that, it’s inevitable that some stocks will be oversold in a falling market. The key is to keep your eyes on the fundamental developments. Regrettably, last year’s performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 1.3% per year over five years. We realise that Baron Rothschild has said investors should “buy when there is blood on the streets”, but we caution that investors should first be sure they are buying a high quality business. I find it very interesting to look at share price over the long term as a proxy for business performance. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. Consider risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we’ve spotted 1 warning sign for BOC Hong Kong (Holdings) you should know about.

If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on Hong Kong exchanges.

Valuation is complex, but we’re helping make it simple.

Find out whether BOC Hong Kong (Holdings) is potentially over or undervalued by checking out our comprehensive analysis, which includes fair value estimates, risks and warnings, dividends, insider transactions and financial health.

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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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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