The simplest way to benefit from a rising market is to buy an index fund. But if you buy individual stocks, you can do both better or worse than that. That downside risk was realized by Hudson Pacific Properties, Inc. (NYSE:HPP) shareholders over the last year, as the share price declined 40%. That falls noticeably short of the market return of around 21%. To make matters worse, the returns over three years have also been really disappointing (the share price is 39% lower than three years ago). The falls have accelerated recently, with the share price down 15% in the last three months.
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. 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.
Hudson Pacific Properties stole the show with its EPS rocketing, in the last year. We don't think the growth guide to the sustainable growth rate in this case, but we do think this sort of increase is impressive. As a result, we're surprised to see the weak share price. Some different data might shed some more light on the situation.
We don't see any weakness in the Hudson Pacific Properties' dividend so the steady payout can't really explain the share price drop. The revenue trend doesn't seem to explain why the share price is down. Unless, of course, the market was expecting a revenue uptick.
The image below shows how earnings and revenue have tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
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. This free report showing analyst forecasts should help you form a view on Hudson Pacific Properties
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. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. We note that for Hudson Pacific Properties the TSR over the last year was -37%, 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
Hudson Pacific Properties shareholders are down 37% for the year (even including dividends), but the market itself is up 21%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Regrettably, last year's performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 3% per year over five years. We realise that Baron Rothschild has said investors should "buy when there is blood on the streets", but we caution that investors should first be sure they are buying a high quality business. While it is well worth considering the different impacts that market conditions can have on the share price, there are other factors that are even more important. Even so, be aware that Hudson Pacific Properties is showing 3 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 2 of those can't be ignored...
Hudson Pacific Properties 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.
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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