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Shareholders in PotlatchDeltic (NASDAQ:PCH) are in the red if they invested a year ago

It's easy to feel disappointed if you buy a stock that goes down. But often it is not a reflection of the fundamental business performance. The PotlatchDeltic Corporation (NASDAQ:PCH) is down 13% over a year, but the total shareholder return is -4.0% once you include the dividend. And that total return actually beats the market decline of 18%. On the bright side, the stock is actually up 11% in the last three years.

Now let's have a look at the company's fundamentals, and see if the long term shareholder return has matched the performance of the underlying business.

See our latest analysis for PotlatchDeltic

There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. 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.

Unhappily, PotlatchDeltic had to report a 26% decline in EPS over the last year. This fall in the EPS is significantly worse than the 13% the share price fall. So the market may not be too worried about the EPS figure, at the moment -- or it may have expected earnings to drop faster.

You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).

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

It is of course excellent to see how PotlatchDeltic has grown profits over the years, but the future is more important for shareholders. If you are thinking of buying or selling PotlatchDeltic stock, you should check out this FREE detailed report on its balance sheet.

What About Dividends?

It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. 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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. As it happens, PotlatchDeltic's TSR for the last 1 year was -4.0%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.

A Different Perspective

While it's never nice to take a loss, PotlatchDeltic shareholders can take comfort that , including dividends,their trailing twelve month loss of 4.0% wasn't as bad as the market loss of around 18%. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 5%, each year, over five years. In the best case scenario the last year is just a temporary blip on the journey to a brighter future. I find it very interesting to look at share price over the long term as a proxy for business performance. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. Like risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 2 warning signs for PotlatchDeltic (of which 1 is a bit unpleasant!) you should know about.

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 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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