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Does Safehold's (NYSE:SAFE) Share Price Gain of 59% Match Its Business Performance?

Simply Wall St

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These days it's easy to simply buy an index fund, and your returns should (roughly) match the market. But you can significantly boost your returns by picking above-average stocks. For example, the Safehold Inc. (NYSE:SAFE) share price is up 59% in the last year, clearly besting than the market return of around 6.0% (not including dividends). If it can keep that out-performance up over the long term, investors will do very well! Safehold hasn't been listed for long, so it's still not clear if it is a long term winner.

Check out our latest analysis for Safehold

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.

Safehold boasted truly magnificent EPS growth in the last year. We don't think the exact number is a good guide to the sustainable growth rate, but we do think this sort of increase is impressive. So we'd expect to see the share price higher. Strong growth like this can be evidence of a fundamental inflection point in the business, making it a good time to investigate the stock more closely.

You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).

NYSE:SAFE Past and Future Earnings, July 2nd 2019

We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here..

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. As it happens, Safehold's TSR for the last year was 63%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.

A Different Perspective

It's nice to see that Safehold shareholders have gained 63% over the last year, including dividends. And the share price momentum remains respectable, with a gain of 36% in the last three months. Demand for the stock from multiple parties is pushing the price higher; it could be that word is getting out about its virtues as a business. It is all well and good that insiders have been buying shares, but we suggest you check here to see what price insiders were buying at.

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 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.