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If You Had Bought National Storage Affiliates Trust (NYSE:NSA) Shares Three Years Ago You'd Have Made 57%

Simply Wall St

By buying an index fund, you can roughly match the market return with ease. But many of us dare to dream of bigger returns, and build a portfolio ourselves. Just take a look at National Storage Affiliates Trust (NYSE:NSA), which is up 57%, over three years, soundly beating the market return of 39% (not including dividends). However, more recent returns haven't been as impressive as that, with the stock returning just 31% in the last year , including dividends .

See our latest analysis for National Storage Affiliates Trust

To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it's a weighing machine. One imperfect but simple way to consider how the market perception of a company has shifted is to compare the change in the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price movement.

Over the last three years, National Storage Affiliates Trust failed to grow earnings per share, which fell 103% (annualized). This was, in part, due to extraordinary items impacting earning in the last twelve months.

Thus, it seems unlikely that the market is focussed on EPS growth at the moment. Given this situation, it makes sense to look at other metrics too.

It may well be that National Storage Affiliates Trust revenue growth rate of 23% over three years has convinced shareholders to believe in a brighter future. If the company is being managed for the long term good, today's shareholders might be right to hold on.

The graphic below depicts how earnings and revenue have changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).

NYSE:NSA Income Statement, February 11th 2020

It's probably worth noting we've seen significant insider buying in the last quarter, which we consider a positive. That said, we think earnings and revenue growth trends are even more important factors to consider. This free report showing analyst forecasts should help you form a view on National Storage Affiliates Trust

What About Dividends?

It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. 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 or spin-off. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. We note that for National Storage Affiliates Trust the TSR over the last 3 years was 79%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

It's nice to see that National Storage Affiliates Trust shareholders have gained 31% (in total) over the last year. That's including the dividend. That's better than the annualized TSR of 21% over the last three years. These improved returns may hint at some real business momentum, implying that now could be a great time to delve deeper. While it is well worth considering the different impacts that market conditions can have on the share price, there are other factors that are even more important. For instance, we've identified 2 warning signs for National Storage Affiliates Trust that you should be aware of.

National Storage Affiliates Trust 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.

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.

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. Thank you for reading.