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Investors Who Bought Federal Realty Investment Trust (NYSE:FRT) Shares Three Years Ago Are Now Up -15%

Simply Wall St

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As an investor its worth striving to ensure your overall portfolio beats the market average. But its virtually certain that sometimes you will buy stocks that fall short of the market average returns. Unfortunately, that's been the case for longer term Federal Realty Investment Trust (NYSE:FRT) shareholders, since the share price is down 15% in the last three years, falling well short of the market return of around 51%.

See our latest analysis for Federal Realty Investment Trust

In his essay The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville Warren Buffett described how share prices do not always rationally reflect the value of a business. One flawed but reasonable way to assess how sentiment around a company has changed is to compare the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price.

Although the share price is down over three years, Federal Realty Investment Trust actually managed to grow EPS by 1.5% per year in that time. This is quite a puzzle, and suggests there might be something temporarily buoying the share price. Alternatively, growth expectations may have been unreasonable in the past. After considering the numbers, we'd posit that the the market had higher expectations of EPS growth, three years back. Looking to other metrics might better explain the share price change.

We note that, in three years, revenue has actually grown at a 6.8% annual rate, so that doesn't seem to be a reason to sell shares. It's probably worht worth investigating Federal Realty Investment Trust further; while we may be missing something on this analysis, there might also be an opportunity.

Depicted in the graphic below, you'll see revenue and earnings over time. If you want more detail, you can click on the chart itself.

NYSE:FRT Income Statement, May 3rd 2019

Take a more thorough look at Federal Realty Investment Trust's financial health with this free 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. 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 Federal Realty Investment Trust the TSR over the last 3 years was -6.7%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.

A Different Perspective

It's nice to see that Federal Realty Investment Trust shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 17% over the last year. And that does include the dividend. Since the one-year TSR is better than the five-year TSR (the latter coming in at 5.4% per year), it would seem that the stock's performance has improved in recent times. Given the share price momentum remains strong, it might be worth taking a closer look at the stock, lest you miss an opportunity. Before forming an opinion on Federal Realty Investment Trust you might want to consider the cold hard cash it pays as a dividend. This free chart tracks its dividend over time.

Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of companies we expect will 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.

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 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. Thank you for reading.