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Does Washington Real Estate Investment Trust's (NYSE:WRE) Share Price Gain of 16% Match Its Business Performance?

Simply Wall St

The main point of investing for the long term is to make money. Furthermore, you'd generally like to see the share price rise faster than the market But Washington Real Estate Investment Trust (NYSE:WRE) has fallen short of that second goal, with a share price rise of 16% over five years, which is below the market return. The last year hasn't been great either, with the stock up just 0.6%.

View our latest analysis for Washington Real Estate Investment Trust

While the efficient markets hypothesis continues to be taught by some, it has been proven that markets are over-reactive dynamic systems, and investors are not always rational. 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, Washington Real Estate Investment Trust became profitable. That would generally be considered a positive, so we'd expect the share price to be up.

The company's earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).

NYSE:WRE Past and Future Earnings, April 24th 2019

We know that Washington Real Estate Investment Trust has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? If you're interested, you could check this free report showing consensus revenue forecasts.

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 incorporates the value of any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings, along with any dividends, based on the assumption that the dividends are reinvested. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. We note that for Washington Real Estate Investment Trust the TSR over the last 5 years was 43%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.

A Different Perspective

Washington Real Estate Investment Trust shareholders are up 5.0% for the year (even including dividends). But that return falls short of the market. If we look back over five years, the returns are even better, coming in at 7.5% per year for five years. It's quite possible the business continues to execute with prowess, even as the share price gains are slowing. Before forming an opinion on Washington 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.

But note: Washington Real Estate Investment Trust may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with past earnings growth (and further growth forecast).

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.