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Buying a low-cost index fund will get you the average market return. But if you invest in individual stocks, some are likely to underperform. That's what has happened with the Gladstone Land Corporation (NASDAQ:LAND) share price. It's up 29% over three years, but that is below the market return. At least the stock price is up over the last year, albeit only by 2.5%.
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.
Gladstone Land became profitable within the last three years. That would generally be considered a positive, so we'd expect the share price to be up.
You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
It's good to see that there was some significant insider buying in the last three months. That's a positive. On the other hand, we think the revenue and earnings trends are much more meaningful measures of the business. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on Gladstone Land's earnings, revenue and cash flow.
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 incorporates the value of any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings, along with any dividends, based on the assumption that the dividends are reinvested. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. We note that for Gladstone Land the TSR over the last 3 years was 47%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
Gladstone Land shareholders gained a total return of 7.0% during the year. But that was short of the market average. On the bright side, that's still a gain, and it's actually better than the average return of 3.7% over half a decade This suggests the company might be improving over time. 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 Gladstone Land by clicking this link.
If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).
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.