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Shareholders in BrightSpire Capital (NYSE:BRSP) are in the red if they invested three years ago

·3 min read

Many investors define successful investing as beating the market average over the long term. But in any portfolio, there are likely to be some stocks that fall short of that benchmark. Unfortunately, that's been the case for longer term BrightSpire Capital, Inc. (NYSE:BRSP) shareholders, since the share price is down 47% in the last three years, falling well short of the market return of around 44%.

Since shareholders are down over the longer term, lets look at the underlying fundamentals over the that time and see if they've been consistent with returns.

View our latest analysis for BrightSpire Capital

BrightSpire Capital wasn't profitable in the last twelve months, it is unlikely we'll see a strong correlation between its share price and its earnings per share (EPS). Arguably revenue is our next best option. Generally speaking, companies without profits are expected to grow revenue every year, and at a good clip. That's because fast revenue growth can be easily extrapolated to forecast profits, often of considerable size.

Over the last three years, BrightSpire Capital's revenue dropped 28% per year. That's definitely a weaker result than most pre-profit companies report. On the face of it we'd posit the share price fall of 14% compound, over three years is well justified by the fundamental deterioration. It would probably be worth asking whether the company can fund itself to profitability. Of course, it is possible for businesses to bounce back from a revenue drop - but we'd want to see that before getting interested.

The company's revenue and earnings (over time) are depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).

earnings-and-revenue-growth
earnings-and-revenue-growth

We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Even so, future earnings will be far more important to whether current shareholders make money. This free report showing analyst forecasts should help you form a view on BrightSpire Capital

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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. We note that for BrightSpire Capital the TSR over the last 3 years was -35%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

It's nice to see that BrightSpire Capital shareholders have gained 4.9% (in total) over the last year. That includes the value of the dividend. This recent result is much better than the 11% drop suffered by shareholders each year (on average) over the last three. We're generally cautious about putting too much weigh on shorter term data, but the recent improvement is definitely a positive. 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. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 1 warning sign with BrightSpire Capital , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

BrightSpire Capital 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.

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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.