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Canadian Net Real Estate Investment Trust's (CVE:NET.UN) investors will be pleased with their respectable 48% return over the last five years

Passive investing in index funds can generate returns that roughly match the overall market. But you can do a lot better than that by buying good quality businesses for attractive prices. For example, the Canadian Net Real Estate Investment Trust (CVE:NET.UN) share price is 22% higher than it was five years ago, which is more than the market average. Zooming in, the stock is actually down 18% in the last year.

With that in mind, it's worth seeing if the company's underlying fundamentals have been the driver of long term performance, or if there are some discrepancies.

View our latest analysis for Canadian Net Real Estate Investment Trust

While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just 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.

During the last half decade, Canadian Net Real Estate Investment Trust became profitable. That would generally be considered a positive, so we'd expect the share price to be up.

You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).

earnings-per-share-growth
earnings-per-share-growth

It is of course excellent to see how Canadian Net Real Estate Investment Trust has grown profits over the years, but the future is more important for shareholders. If you are thinking of buying or selling Canadian Net Real Estate Investment Trust stock, you should check out this FREE detailed report on its balance sheet.

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 Canadian Net Real Estate Investment Trust the TSR over the last 5 years was 48%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

We regret to report that Canadian Net Real Estate Investment Trust shareholders are down 15% for the year (even including dividends). Unfortunately, that's worse than the broader market decline of 0.1%. 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. On the bright side, long term shareholders have made money, with a gain of 8% per year over half a decade. It could be that the recent sell-off is an opportunity, so it may be worth checking the fundamental data for signs of a long term growth trend. I find it very interesting to look at share price over the long term as a proxy for business performance. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 5 warning signs with Canadian Net Real Estate Investment Trust (at least 1 which makes us a bit uncomfortable) , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

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 CA exchanges.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

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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