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Does Universal Health Realty Income Trust’s (NYSE:UHT) Share Price Gain of 77% Match Its Business Performance?

Simply Wall St

Generally speaking the aim of active stock picking is to find companies that provide returns that are superior to the market average. And in our experience, buying the right stocks can give your wealth a significant boost. For example, long term Universal Health Realty Income Trust (NYSE:UHT) shareholders have enjoyed a 77% share price rise over the last half decade, well in excess of the market return of around 41% (not including dividends). However, more recent returns haven’t been as impressive as that, with the stock returning just 27% in the last year, including dividends.

See our latest analysis for Universal Health Realty Income Trust

There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. 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, Universal Health Realty Income Trust achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 11% per year. So the EPS growth rate is rather close to the annualized share price gain of 12% per year. This indicates that investor sentiment towards the company has not changed a great deal. In fact, the share price seems to largely reflect the EPS growth.

The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).

NYSE:UHT Past and Future Earnings, March 15th 2019

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 Universal Health Realty Income Trust’s earnings, revenue and cash flow.

What About Dividends?

When looking at investment returns, it is important to consider the difference between total shareholder return (TSR) and share price return. 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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. In the case of Universal Health Realty Income Trust, it has a TSR of 119% for the last 5 years. 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 Universal Health Realty Income Trust shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 27% over the last year. And that does include the dividend. That gain is better than the annual TSR over five years, which is 17%. Therefore it seems like sentiment around the company has been positive lately. In the best case scenario, this may hint at some real business momentum, implying that now could be a great time to delve deeper. Keeping this in mind, a solid next step might be to take a look at Universal Health Realty Income Trust’s dividend track record. This free interactive graph is a great place to start.

Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of companies we expect will grow earnings.

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.