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If You Had Bought Realty Income (NYSE:O) Stock Five Years Ago, You Could Pocket A 59% Gain Today

Simply Wall St

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Stock pickers are generally looking for stocks that will outperform the broader market. And in our experience, buying the right stocks can give your wealth a significant boost. For example, long term Realty Income Corporation (NYSE:O) shareholders have enjoyed a 59% share price rise over the last half decade, well in excess of the market return of around 33% (not including dividends). However, more recent returns haven't been as impressive as that, with the stock returning just 38% in the last year, including dividends.

See our latest analysis for Realty Income

To quote Buffett, 'Ships will sail around the world but the Flat Earth Society will flourish. There will continue to be wide discrepancies between price and value in the marketplace...' 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).

Over half a decade, Realty Income managed to grow its earnings per share at 11% a year. This EPS growth is reasonably close to the 9.7% average annual increase in the share price. This indicates that investor sentiment towards the company has not changed a great deal. In fact, the share price seems to largely reflect the EPS growth.

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

NYSE:O Past and Future Earnings, June 2nd 2019

We know that Realty Income has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? This free report showing analyst revenue forecasts should help you figure out if the EPS growth can be sustained.

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 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 Realty Income the TSR over the last 5 years was 99%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

We're pleased to report that Realty Income shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 38% over one year. That's including the dividend. That's better than the annualised return of 15% over half a decade, implying that the company is doing better recently. Given the share price momentum remains strong, it might be worth taking a closer look at the stock, lest you miss an opportunity. Before spending more time on Realty Income 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.