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The past year for Ares Commercial Real Estate (NYSE:ACRE) investors has not been profitable

Ares Commercial Real Estate Corporation (NYSE:ACRE) shareholders should be happy to see the share price up 14% in the last month. In contrast, the stock is down for the year. But on the bright side, its return of 13%, is better than the market, which is down 0.20229167935613.

It's worthwhile assessing if the company's economics have been moving in lockstep with these underwhelming shareholder returns, or if there is some disparity between the two. So let's do just that.

Check out our latest analysis for Ares Commercial Real Estate

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 way to examine how market sentiment has changed over time is to look at the interaction between a company's share price and its earnings per share (EPS).

Unfortunately Ares Commercial Real Estate reported an EPS drop of 40% for the last year. This fall in the EPS is significantly worse than the 22% the share price fall. So despite the weak per-share profits, some investors are probably relieved the situation wasn't more difficult.

The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).

earnings-per-share-growth
earnings-per-share-growth

We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Even so, future earnings will be far more important to whether current shareholders make money. This free interactive report on Ares Commercial Real Estate's earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.

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 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 Ares Commercial Real Estate the TSR over the last 1 year was -13%, 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

While it's certainly disappointing to see that Ares Commercial Real Estate shares lost 13% throughout the year, that wasn't as bad as the market loss of 20%. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 9%, each year, over five years. It could be that the business is just facing some short term problems, but shareholders should keep a close eye on the fundamentals. 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. Take risks, for example - Ares Commercial Real Estate has 3 warning signs (and 2 which are potentially serious) we think you should know about.

There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. You probably do not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.

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

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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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