The five-year returns for American Homes 4 Rent's (NYSE:AMH) shareholders have been notable, yet its earnings growth was even better
Generally speaking the aim of active stock picking is to find companies that provide returns that are superior to the market average. Buying under-rated businesses is one path to excess returns. For example, the American Homes 4 Rent (NYSE:AMH) share price is up 61% in the last 5 years, clearly besting the market return of around 37% (ignoring dividends).
On the back of a solid 7-day performance, let's check what role the company's fundamentals have played in driving long term shareholder returns.
See our latest analysis for American Homes 4 Rent
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. 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.
Over half a decade, American Homes 4 Rent managed to grow its earnings per share at 132% a year. The EPS growth is more impressive than the yearly share price gain of 10% over the same period. Therefore, it seems the market has become relatively pessimistic about the company. Of course, with a P/E ratio of 55.17, the market remains optimistic.
You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on American Homes 4 Rent's earnings, revenue and cash flow.
What About Dividends?
As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). 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. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. As it happens, American Homes 4 Rent's TSR for the last 5 years was 70%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
While the broader market lost about 16% in the twelve months, American Homes 4 Rent shareholders did even worse, losing 20% (even including dividends). However, it could simply be that the share price has been impacted by broader market jitters. It might be worth keeping an eye on the fundamentals, in case there's a good opportunity. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 11%, each year, over five years. 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. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand American Homes 4 Rent better, we need to consider many other factors. Like risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 5 warning signs for American Homes 4 Rent (of which 2 are a bit unpleasant!) you should know about.
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.
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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