It hasn't been the best quarter for Texas Pacific Land Trust (NYSE:TPL) shareholders, since the share price has fallen 19% in that time. But that doesn't change the fact that the returns over the last half decade have been spectacular. In that time, the share price has soared some 306% higher! So it might be that some shareholders are taking profits after good performance. But the real question is whether the business fundamentals can improve over the long term.
There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. One imperfect but simple way to consider how the market perception of a company has shifted is to compare the change in the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price movement.
Over half a decade, Texas Pacific Land Trust managed to grow its earnings per share at 57% a year. The EPS growth is more impressive than the yearly share price gain of 32% over the same period. So one could conclude that the broader market has become more cautious towards the stock.
You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
It's good to see that there was some significant insider buying in the last three months. That's a positive. That said, we think earnings and revenue growth trends are even more important factors to consider. This free interactive report on Texas Pacific Land Trust's earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.
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. We note that for Texas Pacific Land Trust the TSR over the last 5 years was 316%, 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
Investors in Texas Pacific Land Trust had a tough year, with a total loss of 22% (including dividends) , against a market gain of about 13%. Even the share prices of good stocks drop sometimes, but we want to see improvements in the fundamental metrics of a business, before getting too interested. On the bright side, long term shareholders have made money, with a gain of 33% per year over half a decade. If the fundamental data continues to indicate long term sustainable growth, the current sell-off could be an opportunity worth considering. If you want to research this stock further, the data on insider buying is an obvious place to start. You can click here to see who has been buying shares - and the price they paid.
If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US 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.