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Passive investing in an index fund is a good way to ensure your own returns roughly match the overall market. Active investors aim to buy stocks that vastly outperform the market - but in the process, they risk under-performance. That downside risk was realized by Crombie Real Estate Investment Trust (TSE:CRR.UN) shareholders over the last year, as the share price declined 16%. That's well below the market decline of 6.4%. However, the longer term returns haven't been so bad, with the stock down 5.1% in the last three years.
To quote Buffett, 'Ships will sail around the world but the Flat Earth Society will flourish. There will continue to be wide discrepancies between price and value in the marketplace...' 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.
Even though the Crombie Real Estate Investment Trust share price is down over the year, its EPS actually improved. Of course, the situation might betray previous over-optimism about growth.
By glancing at these numbers, we'd posit that the the market had expectations of much higher growth, last year. But looking to other metrics might better explain the share price change.
We don't see any weakness in the Crombie Real Estate Investment Trust's dividend so the steady payout can't really explain the share price drop. We'd be more worried about the fact that revenue fell 4.4% year on year. The market may be extrapolating the decline, leading to questions around the sustainability of the EPS.
You can see below how earnings and revenue have 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. On the other hand, we think the revenue and earnings trends are much more meaningful measures of the business. You can see what analysts are predicting for Crombie Real Estate Investment Trust in this interactive graph of future profit estimates.
What About Dividends?
It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. 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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. As it happens, Crombie Real Estate Investment Trust's TSR for the last year was -10%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
While the broader market lost about 6.4% in the twelve months, Crombie Real Estate Investment Trust shareholders did even worse, losing 10% (even including dividends) . 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. On the bright side, long term shareholders have made money, with a gain of 7.1% per year over half a decade. It could be that the recent sell-off is an opportunity, so it may be worth checking the fundamental data for signs of a long term growth trend. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Crombie Real Estate Investment Trust better, we need to consider many other factors. Take risks, for example - Crombie Real Estate Investment Trust has 4 warning signs (and 1 which doesn't sit too well with us) we think you should know about.
Crombie Real Estate Investment Trust is not the only stock that insiders are buying. For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on CA exchanges.
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. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
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