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If You Had Bought American Campus Communities (NYSE:ACC) Stock Five Years Ago, You Could Pocket A 23% Gain Today

Simply Wall St

The main point of investing for the long term is to make money. But more than that, you probably want to see it rise more than the market average. Unfortunately for shareholders, while the American Campus Communities, Inc. (NYSE:ACC) share price is up 23% in the last five years, that’s less than the market return. On a brighter note, more newer shareholders are probably rather content with the 20% share price gain over twelve months.

Check out our latest analysis for American Campus Communities

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 way to examine how market sentiment has changed over time is to look at the interaction between a company’s share price and its earnings per share (EPS).

During five years of share price growth, American Campus Communities achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 15% per year. The EPS growth is more impressive than the yearly share price gain of 4.2% over the same period. Therefore, it seems the market has become relatively pessimistic about the company.

The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).

NYSE:ACC Past and Future Earnings, March 11th 2019

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 Campus Communities’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 incorporates the value of any 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. In the case of American Campus Communities, it has a TSR of 50% 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 American Campus Communities shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 26% over the last year. Of course, that includes the dividend. That’s better than the annualised return of 8.4% over half a decade, implying that the company is doing better recently. In the best case scenario, this may hint at some real business momentum, implying that now could be a great time to delve deeper. Investors who like to make money usually check up on insider purchases, such as the price paid, and total amount bought. You can find out about the insider purchases of American Campus Communities by clicking this link.

American Campus Communities is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with insider buying.

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.