Generally speaking long term investing is the way to go. But no-one is immune from buying too high. Zooming in on an example, the Sinosoft Technology Group Limited (HKG:1297) share price dropped 68% in the last half decade. That is extremely sub-optimal, to say the least. And some of the more recent buyers are probably worried, too, with the stock falling 43% in the last year. The falls have accelerated recently, with the share price down 41% in the last three months.

With the stock having lost 11% in the past week, it’s worth taking a look at business performance and seeing if there’s any red flags.

View our latest analysis for Sinosoft Technology Group

There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect 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.

While the share price declined over five years, Sinosoft Technology Group actually managed to increase EPS by an average of 23% 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). Or possibly, the market was previously very optimistic, so the stock has disappointed, despite improving EPS.

Because of the sharp contrast between the EPS growth rate and the share price growth, we’re inclined to look to other metrics to understand the changing market sentiment around the stock.

We note that the dividend has fallen in the last five years, so that may have contributed to the share price decline.

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:1297 Earnings and Revenue Growth August 22nd 2021

If you are thinking of buying or selling Sinosoft Technology Group stock, you should check out this FREE detailed report on its balance sheet.

What About Dividends?

As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). 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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. As it happens, Sinosoft Technology Group’s TSR for the last 5 years was -63%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.

A Different Perspective

While the broader market gained around 5.3% in the last year, Sinosoft Technology Group shareholders lost 34% (even including dividends). However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Unfortunately, last year’s performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it was worse than the annualised loss of 10% over the last half decade. 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. It’s always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Sinosoft Technology Group better, we need to consider many other factors. Even so, be aware that Sinosoft Technology Group is showing 3 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 1 of those can’t be ignored…

For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.

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

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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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