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Stock pickers are generally looking for stocks that will outperform the broader market. And the truth is, you can make significant gains if you buy good quality businesses at the right price. For example, long term Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust (SGX:A17U) shareholders have enjoyed a 27% share price rise over the last half decade, well in excess of the market return of around -2.5% (not including dividends). However, more recent returns haven't been as impressive as that, with the stock returning just 18% in the last year, including dividends.
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. One way to examine how market sentiment has changed over time is to look at the interaction between a company's share price and its earnings per share (EPS).
Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust's earnings per share are down 2.4% per year, despite strong share price performance over five years. 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 how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
We know that Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? You could check out this free report showing analyst revenue forecasts.
What About Dividends?
It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. 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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. We note that for Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust the TSR over the last 5 years was 71%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
We're pleased to report that Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 18% over one year. Of course, that includes the dividend. That gain is better than the annual TSR over five years, which is 11%. Therefore it seems like sentiment around the company has been positive lately. Someone with an optimistic perspective could view the recent improvement in TSR as indicating that the business itself is getting better with time. Before forming an opinion on Ascendas Real Estate Investment Trust you might want to consider the cold hard cash it pays as a dividend. This free chart tracks its dividend over time.
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 SG 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.