If You Had Bought E-Commodities Holdings (HKG:1733) Stock Five Years Ago, You'd Be Sitting On A 96% Loss, Today

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Long term investing is the way to go, but that doesn’t mean you should hold every stock forever. We really hate to see fellow investors lose their hard-earned money. Anyone who held E-Commodities Holdings Limited (HKG:1733) for five years would be nursing their metaphorical wounds since the share price dropped 96% in that time. The falls have accelerated recently, with the share price down 23% in the last three months.

While a drop like that is definitely a body blow, money isn’t as important as health and happiness.

Check out our latest analysis for E-Commodities Holdings

In his essay The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville Warren Buffett described how share prices do not always rationally reflect the value of a business. 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.

E-Commodities Holdings became profitable within the last five years. 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.

We note that the dividend has remained healthy, so that wouldn’t really explain the share price drop. While it’s not completely obvious why the share price is down, a closer look at the company’s history might help explain it.

You can see how earnings and revenue have changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).

SEHK:1733 Income Statement, August 16th 2019

Balance sheet strength is crucial. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on how its financial position has changed over time.

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 E-Commodities Holdings the TSR over the last 5 years was -90%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.

A Different Perspective

We regret to report that E-Commodities Holdings shareholders are down 11% for the year (even including dividends). Unfortunately, that’s worse than the broader market decline of 6.9%. 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. Unfortunately, longer term shareholders are suffering worse, given the loss of 38% doled out over the last five years. We would want clear information suggesting the company will grow, before taking the view that the share price will stabilize. Before forming an opinion on E-Commodities Holdings you might want to consider the cold hard cash it pays as a dividend. This free chart tracks its dividend over time.

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 editorial-team@simplywallst.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.