U.S. Markets closed
  • S&P 500

    4,026.12
    -1.14 (-0.03%)
     
  • Dow 30

    34,347.03
    +152.97 (+0.45%)
     
  • Nasdaq

    11,226.36
    -58.96 (-0.52%)
     
  • Russell 2000

    1,869.19
    +5.67 (+0.30%)
     
  • Crude Oil

    76.28
    -1.66 (-2.13%)
     
  • Gold

    1,754.00
    +8.40 (+0.48%)
     
  • Silver

    21.43
    +0.06 (+0.29%)
     
  • EUR/USD

    1.0405
    -0.0008 (-0.0728%)
     
  • 10-Yr Bond

    3.6910
    -0.0150 (-0.40%)
     
  • Vix

    20.50
    +0.08 (+0.39%)
     
  • GBP/USD

    1.2091
    -0.0023 (-0.1935%)
     
  • USD/JPY

    139.1000
    +0.5100 (+0.3680%)
     
  • BTC-USD

    16,526.14
    -71.81 (-0.43%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    386.97
    +4.32 (+1.13%)
     
  • FTSE 100

    7,486.67
    +20.07 (+0.27%)
     
  • Nikkei 225

    28,283.03
    -100.06 (-0.35%)
     

Healthcare Trust of America (NYSE:HTA) sheds 8.0% this week, as yearly returns fall more in line with earnings growth

Ideally, your overall portfolio should beat the market average. But the main game is to find enough winners to more than offset the losers At this point some shareholders may be questioning their investment in Healthcare Trust of America, Inc. (NYSE:HTA), since the last five years saw the share price fall 15%. The falls have accelerated recently, with the share price down 10% in the last three months. Of course, this share price action may well have been influenced by the 12% decline in the broader market, throughout the period.

Since Healthcare Trust of America has shed US$541m from its value in the past 7 days, let's see if the longer term decline has been driven by the business' economics.

Check out our latest analysis for Healthcare Trust of America

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 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).

While the share price declined over five years, Healthcare Trust of America actually managed to increase EPS by an average of 3.0% per year. So it doesn't seem like EPS is a great guide to understanding how the market is valuing the stock. Alternatively, growth expectations may have been unreasonable in the past.

With EPS gaining and a declining share price, one would suggest the market is cooling on its view of the company. Generally speaking, though, if the company can keep growing EPS then the share price will eventually follow.

The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).

earnings-per-share-growth
earnings-per-share-growth

It's probably worth noting that the CEO is paid less than the median at similar sized companies. It's always worth keeping an eye on CEO pay, but a more important question is whether the company will grow earnings throughout the years. Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here..

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 incorporates the value of any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings, along with any dividends, based on the assumption that the dividends are reinvested. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. We note that for Healthcare Trust of America the TSR over the last 5 years was 6.5%, 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

While it's certainly disappointing to see that Healthcare Trust of America shares lost 3.4% throughout the year, that wasn't as bad as the market loss of 20%. Of course, the long term returns are far more important and the good news is that over five years, the stock has returned 1.3% for each year. It could be that the business is just facing some short term problems, but shareholders should keep a close eye on the fundamentals. I find it very interesting to look at share price over the long term as a proxy for business performance. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. Take risks, for example - Healthcare Trust of America has 3 warning signs (and 1 which is concerning) we think you should know about.

If you would prefer to check out another company -- one with potentially superior financials -- then do not miss this free list of companies that have proven they can grow earnings.

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

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.