Starwood Property Trust, Inc. (NYSE:STWD) shareholders should be happy to see the share price up 10% in the last week. But if you look at the last five years the returns have not been good. You would have done a lot better buying an index fund, since the stock has dropped 54% in that half decade.
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 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.
During the five years over which the share price declined, Starwood Property Trust's earnings per share (EPS) dropped by 4.5% each year. This reduction in EPS is less than the 14% annual reduction in the share price. This implies that the market was previously too optimistic about the stock. The less favorable sentiment is reflected in its current P/E ratio of 6.10.
You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).
It's probably worth noting we've seen significant insider buying in the last quarter, which we consider a positive. That said, we think earnings and revenue growth trends are even more important factors to consider. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on Starwood Property Trust'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 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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. We note that for Starwood Property Trust the TSR over the last 5 years was -27%, 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
We regret to report that Starwood Property Trust shareholders are down 46% for the year (even including dividends) . Unfortunately, that's worse than the broader market decline of 8.1%. Having said that, it's inevitable that some stocks will be oversold in a falling market. The key is to keep your eyes on the fundamental developments. Unfortunately, last year's performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it was worse than the annualised loss of 6.1% over the last half decade. Generally speaking long term share price weakness can be a bad sign, though contrarian investors might want to research the stock in hope of a turnaround. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Starwood Property Trust better, we need to consider many other factors. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 6 warning signs with Starwood Property Trust (at least 3 which are significant) , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.
Starwood Property Trust 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.
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.
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