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Those who invested in Healthcare Trust of America (NYSE:HTA) a year ago are up 37%

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These days it's easy to simply buy an index fund, and your returns should (roughly) match the market. But if you pick the right individual stocks, you could make more than that. To wit, the Healthcare Trust of America, Inc. (NYSE:HTA) share price is 31% higher than it was a year ago, much better than the market return of around 23% (not including dividends) in the same period. That's a solid performance by our standards! However, the stock hasn't done so well in the longer term, with the stock only up 21% in three years.

So let's assess the underlying fundamentals over the last 1 year and see if they've moved in lock-step with shareholder returns.

Check out our latest analysis for Healthcare Trust of America

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).

Healthcare Trust of America was able to grow EPS by 223% in the last twelve months. It's fair to say that the share price gain of 31% did not keep pace with the EPS growth. So it seems like the market has cooled on Healthcare Trust of America, despite the growth. Interesting. Having said that, the market is still optimistic, given the P/E ratio of 69.91.

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're pleased to report that the CEO is remunerated more modestly than most CEOs at similarly capitalized companies. But while CEO remuneration is always worth checking, the really important question is whether the company can grow earnings going forward. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on Healthcare Trust of America's earnings, revenue and cash flow.

What About Dividends?

As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). 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. In the case of Healthcare Trust of America, it has a TSR of 37% for the last 1 year. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.

A Different Perspective

It's nice to see that Healthcare Trust of America shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 37% over the last year. That's including the dividend. Since the one-year TSR is better than the five-year TSR (the latter coming in at 8% per year), it would seem that the stock's performance has improved in recent times. In the best case scenario, this may hint at some real business momentum, implying that now could be a great time to delve deeper. 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. Even so, be aware that Healthcare Trust of America is showing 3 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 1 of those doesn't sit too well with us...

If you like to buy stocks alongside management, then you might just love this free list of companies. (Hint: insiders have been buying them).

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. 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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