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Should Global Self Storage (NASDAQ:SELF) Be Disappointed With Their 21% Profit?

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 Unfortunately for shareholders, while the Global Self Storage, Inc. (NASDAQ:SELF) share price is up 21% in the last five years, that's less than the market return. Over the last twelve months the stock price has risen a very respectable 13%.

Check out our latest analysis for Global Self Storage

While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just 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, Global Self Storage actually saw its EPS drop 19% per year.

The strong decline in earnings per share suggests the market isn't using EPS to judge the company. Given that EPS is down, but the share price is up, it seems clear the market is focussed on other aspects of the business, at the moment.

There's no sign of growing dividends, which might have explained the resilient share price.

You can see how earnings and revenue have changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).

NasdaqCM:SELF Income Statement, October 18th 2019

Balance sheet strength is crucial. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on how its financial position has changed over time.

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 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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. As it happens, Global Self Storage's TSR for the last 5 years was 62%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

It's nice to see that Global Self Storage shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 20% over the last year. And that does include the dividend. That's better than the annualised return of 10% 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. Before spending more time on Global Self Storage it might be wise to click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling shares.

For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.

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.