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If You Had Bought RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust (TSE:REI.UN) Stock Three Years Ago, You'd Be Sitting On A 11% Loss, Today

Simply Wall St

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As an investor its worth striving to ensure your overall portfolio beats the market average. But if you try your hand at stock picking, your risk returning less than the market. Unfortunately, that's been the case for longer term RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust (TSE:REI.UN) shareholders, since the share price is down 11% in the last three years, falling well short of the market return of around 19%. There was little comfort for shareholders in the last week as the price declined a further 2.1%.

See our latest analysis for RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust

While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. 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.

During the unfortunate three years of share price decline, RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust actually saw its earnings per share (EPS) improve by 9.5% per year. Given the share price reaction, one might suspect that EPS is not a good guide to the business performance during the period (perhaps due to a one-off loss or gain). Or else the company was over-hyped in the past, and so its growth has disappointed. We're actually a quite surprised to see the share price down while EPS have grown strongly. So we'll have to take a look at other metrics to try to understand the price action.

Given the healthiness of the dividend payments, we doubt that they've concerned the market. RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust has maintained its top line over three years, so we doubt that has shareholders worried. So it might be worth looking at how revenue growth over time, in greater detail.

You can see below how earnings and revenue have changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).

TSX:REI.UN Income Statement, July 17th 2019

It's good to see that there was some significant insider buying in the last three months. That's a positive. That said, we think earnings and revenue growth trends are even more important factors to consider. If you are thinking of buying or selling RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust stock, you should check out this free report showing analyst profit forecasts.

What About Dividends?

It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. 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. We note that for RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust the TSR over the last 3 years was 5.6%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

It's good to see that RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 11% in the last twelve months. And that does include the dividend. Since the one-year TSR is better than the five-year TSR (the latter coming in at 4.4% per year), it would seem that the stock's performance has improved in recent times. Someone with an optimistic perspective could view the recent improvement in TSR as indicating that the business itself is getting better with time. If you want to research this stock further, the data on insider buying is an obvious place to start. You can click here to see who has been buying shares - and the price they paid.

There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. You probably do not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on CA 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.