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Does H&R Real Estate Investment Trust's (TSE:HR.UN) Share Price Gain of 20% Match Its Business Performance?

Simply Wall St

If you want to compound wealth in the stock market, you can do so by buying an index fund. But if you pick the right individual stocks, you could make more than that. For example, the H&R Real Estate Investment Trust (TSE:HR.UN) share price is up 20% in the last year, clearly besting the market return of around -1.5% (not including dividends). If it can keep that out-performance up over the long term, investors will do very well! However, the stock hasn't done so well in the longer term, with the stock only up 5.6% in three years.

See our latest analysis for H&R Real Estate Investment Trust

To quote Buffett, 'Ships will sail around the world but the Flat Earth Society will flourish. There will continue to be wide discrepancies between price and value in the marketplace...' 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.

During the last year, H&R Real Estate Investment Trust actually saw its earnings per share drop 52%.

So we don't think that investors are paying too much attention to EPS. Indeed, when EPS is declining but the share price is up, it often means the market is considering other factors.

We note that the most recent dividend payment is higher than the payment a year ago, so that may have assisted the share price. Income-seeking investors probably helped bid up the stock price.

The company's revenue and earnings (over time) are depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).

TSX:HR.UN Income Statement, October 7th 2019

We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Even so, future earnings will be far more important to whether current shareholders make money. If you are thinking of buying or selling H&R Real Estate Investment Trust stock, you should check out this free report showing analyst profit forecasts.

What About Dividends?

As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). The TSR incorporates the value of any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings, along with any dividends, based on the assumption that the dividends are reinvested. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. In the case of H&R Real Estate Investment Trust, it has a TSR of 28% for the last year. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!

A Different Perspective

It's nice to see that H&R Real Estate Investment Trust shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 28% over the last year. Of course, that includes the dividend. That's better than the annualised return of 7.8% over half a decade, implying that the company is doing better recently. Someone with an optimistic perspective could view the recent improvement in TSR as indicating that the business itself is getting better with time. Investors who like to make money usually check up on insider purchases, such as the price paid, and total amount bought. You can find out about the insider purchases of H&R Real Estate Investment Trust by clicking this link.

There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. You probably do not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on CA 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 editorial-team@simplywallst.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.