When you buy and hold a stock for the long term, you definitely want it to provide a positive return. But more than that, you probably want to see it rise more than the market average. Unfortunately for shareholders, while the Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance, Inc. (NYSE:ARI) share price is up 10% in the last five years, that's less than the market return. But if you include dividends then the return is market-beating. Zooming in, the stock is actually down 3.2% in the last year.
While the efficient markets hypothesis continues to be taught by some, it has been proven that markets are over-reactive dynamic systems, and investors are not always rational. One flawed but reasonable way to assess how sentiment around a company has changed is to compare the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price.
During five years of share price growth, Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance actually saw its EPS drop 4.9% per year.
Since EPS is down a bit, and the share price is up, it's probably that the market previously had some concerns about the company, but the reality has been better than feared. In the long term, though, it will be hard for the share price rises to continue without improving EPS.
You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
We're pleased to report that the CEO is remunerated more modestly than most CEOs at similarly capitalized companies. But while CEO remuneration is always worth checking, the really important question is whether the company can grow earnings going forward. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance's earnings, revenue and cash flow.
What About Dividends?
As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). 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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. We note that for Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance the TSR over the last 5 years was 85%, 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
Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance shareholders are up 7.1% for the year (even including dividends) . But that was short of the market average. If we look back over five years, the returns are even better, coming in at 13% per year for five years. It's quite possible the business continues to execute with prowess, even as the share price gains are slowing. Most investors take the time to check the data on insider transactions. You can click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling.
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 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.