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Investors Who Bought Equity LifeStyle Properties (NYSE:ELS) Shares Five Years Ago Are Now Up 131%

Simply Wall St

It might be of some concern to shareholders to see the Equity LifeStyle Properties, Inc. (NYSE:ELS) share price down 11% in the last month. But that doesn't change the fact that shareholders have received really good returns over the last five years. Indeed, the share price is up an impressive 131% in that time. So while it's never fun to see a share price fall, it's important to look at a longer time horizon. Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean it's cheap now.

Check out our latest analysis for Equity LifeStyle Properties

While the efficient markets hypothesis continues to be taught by some, it has been proven that markets are over-reactive dynamic systems, and investors are not always rational. 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.

Over half a decade, Equity LifeStyle Properties managed to grow its earnings per share at 17% a year. This EPS growth is reasonably close to the 18% average annual increase in the share price. Therefore one could conclude that sentiment towards the shares hasn't morphed very much. In fact, the share price seems to largely reflect the EPS growth.

You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).

NYSE:ELS Past and Future Earnings, March 15th 2020

We're pleased to report that the CEO is remunerated more modestly than most CEOs at similarly capitalized companies. But while CEO remuneration is always worth checking, the really important question is whether the company can grow earnings going forward. This free interactive report on Equity LifeStyle Properties's earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.

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 Equity LifeStyle Properties the TSR over the last 5 years was 160%, 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

It's nice to see that Equity LifeStyle Properties shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 20% over the last year. That's including the dividend. Having said that, the five-year TSR of 21% a year, is even better. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Equity LifeStyle Properties better, we need to consider many other factors. For instance, we've identified 3 warning signs for Equity LifeStyle Properties (1 is significant) that you should be aware of.

But note: Equity LifeStyle Properties may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with past earnings growth (and further growth forecast).

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

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.

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.