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Many investors define successful investing as beating the market average over the long term. 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 Apple Hospitality REIT, Inc. (NYSE:APLE) shareholders, since the share price is down 23% in the last three years, falling well short of the market return of around 46%.
While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. 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).
During the unfortunate three years of share price decline, Apple Hospitality REIT actually saw its earnings per share (EPS) improve by 13% 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). Alternatively, growth expectations may have been unreasonable in the past. It's worth taking a look at other metrics, because the EPS growth doesn't seem to match with the falling share price.
We note that the dividend seems healthy enough, so that probably doesn't explain the share price drop. We like that Apple Hospitality REIT has actually grown its revenue over the last three years. But it's not clear to us why the share price is down. It might be worth diving deeper into the fundamentals, lest an opportunity goes begging.
The company's revenue and earnings (over time) are depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
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. So we recommend checking out this free report showing consensus forecasts
What About Dividends?
When looking at investment returns, it is important to consider the difference between total shareholder return (TSR) and share price return. 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. In the case of Apple Hospitality REIT, it has a TSR of -6.3% for the last 3 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
Apple Hospitality REIT shareholders are down 7.2% for the year (even including dividends), but the broader market is up 6.2%. Of course the long term matters more than the short term, and even great stocks will sometimes have a poor year. Shareholders have lost 2.2% per year over the last three years, so the share price drop has become steeper, over the last year; a potential symptom of as yet unsolved challenges. We would be wary of buying into a company with unsolved problems, although some investors will buy into struggling stocks if they believe the price is sufficiently attractive. Investors who like to make money usually check up on insider purchases, such as the price paid, and total amount bought. You can find out about the insider purchases of Apple Hospitality REIT by clicking this link.
Apple Hospitality REIT 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.
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 email@example.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.