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In order to justify the effort of selecting individual stocks, it's worth striving to beat the returns from a market index fund. But in any portfolio, there will be mixed results between individual stocks. At this point some shareholders may be questioning their investment in Sunstone Hotel Investors, Inc. (NYSE:SHO), since the last five years saw the share price fall 30%. Furthermore, it's down 15% in about a quarter. That's not much fun for holders. This could be related to the recent financial results - you can catch up on the most recent data by reading our company report.
There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect underlying business performance. 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).
During the unfortunate half decade during which the share price slipped, Sunstone Hotel Investors actually saw its earnings per share (EPS) improve by 9.5% per year. So it doesn't seem like EPS is a great guide to understanding how the market is valuing the stock. Or possibly, the market was previously very optimistic, so the stock has disappointed, despite improving EPS.
Due to the lack of correlation between the EPS growth and the falling share price, it's worth taking a look at other metrics to try to understand the share price movement.
The most recent dividend was actually lower than it was in the past, so that may have sent the share price lower. The revenue decline of around 1.5% would not have helped the stock price. So the the weak dividend and revenue data could well help explain the soft share price.
The company's revenue and earnings (over time) are depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
Sunstone Hotel Investors is well known by investors, and plenty of clever analysts have tried to predict the future profit levels. If you are thinking of buying or selling Sunstone Hotel Investors stock, you should check out this free report showing analyst consensus estimates for future profits.
What About Dividends?
As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). 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 Sunstone Hotel Investors the TSR over the last 5 years was -5.6%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
Sunstone Hotel Investors shareholders are down 15% for the year (even including dividends) , but the market itself is up 13%. However, keep in mind that even the best stocks will sometimes underperform the market over a twelve month period. Unfortunately, last year's performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it was worse than the annualised loss of 1.1% over the last half decade. We realise that Buffett 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. 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. For instance, we've identified 3 warning signs for Sunstone Hotel Investors (1 is a bit unpleasant) that you should be aware of.
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.
If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned.
We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Thank you for reading.