By buying an index fund, you can roughly match the market return with ease. But if you buy good businesses at attractive prices, your portfolio returns could exceed the average market return. For example, Xior Student Housing NV (EBR:XIOR) shareholders have seen the share price rise 52% over three years, well in excess of the market return (-9.7%, not including dividends). However, more recent returns haven't been as impressive as that, with the stock returning just 41% in the last year , including dividends .
To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it's a weighing machine. By comparing earnings per share (EPS) and share price changes over time, we can get a feel for how investor attitudes to a company have morphed over time.
During the three years of share price growth, Xior Student Housing actually saw its earnings per share (EPS) drop 2.3% per year.
Given the share price resilience, we don't think the (declining) EPS numbers are a good measure of how the business is moving forward, right now. So other metrics may hold the key to understanding what is influencing investors.
It may well be that Xior Student Housing revenue growth rate of 48% over three years has convinced shareholders to believe in a brighter future. In that case, the company may be sacrificing current earnings per share to drive growth, and maybe shareholder's faith in better days ahead will be rewarded.
The image below shows how earnings and revenue have tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
If you are thinking of buying or selling Xior Student Housing stock, you should check out this FREE detailed report on its balance sheet.
What About Dividends?
When looking at investment returns, it is important to consider the difference between total shareholder return (TSR) and share price return. 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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. We note that for Xior Student Housing the TSR over the last 3 years was 80%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!
A Different Perspective
Pleasingly, Xior Student Housing's total shareholder return last year was 41%. That includes the value of the dividend. That's better than the annualized TSR of 22% 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 example, we've discovered 3 warning signs for Xior Student Housing that you should be aware of before investing here.
If you are like me, then you will 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 BE exchanges.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.