While it may not be enough for some shareholders, we think it is good to see the Tremont Mortgage Trust (NASDAQ:TRMT) share price up 22% in a single quarter. But that doesn't change the reality of under-performance over the last twelve months. In fact, the price has declined 34% in a year, falling short of the returns you could get by investing in an index fund.
While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. By comparing earnings per share (EPS) and share price changes over time, we can get a feel for how investor attitudes to a company have morphed over time.
Tremont Mortgage Trust managed to increase earnings per share from a loss to a profit, over the last 12 months.
The result looks like a strong improvement to us, so we're surprised the market has sold down the shares. If the improved profitability is a sign of things to come, then right now may prove the perfect time to pop this stock on your watchlist.
The company's earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
It's probably worth noting that the CEO is paid less than the median at similar sized companies. It's always worth keeping an eye on CEO pay, but a more important question is whether the company will grow earnings throughout the years. Dive deeper into the earnings by checking this interactive graph of Tremont Mortgage Trust's earnings, revenue and cash flow.
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 incorporates the value of any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings, along with any dividends, based on the assumption that the dividends are reinvested. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. We note that for Tremont Mortgage Trust the TSR over the last year was -24%, 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
Given that the market gained 23% in the last year, Tremont Mortgage Trust shareholders might be miffed that they lost 24% (even including dividends) . While the aim is to do better than that, it's worth recalling that even great long-term investments sometimes underperform for a year or more. It's great to see a nice little 22% rebound in the last three months. This could just be a bounce because the selling was too aggressive, but fingers crossed it's the start of a new trend. 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. Consider risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 3 warning signs for Tremont Mortgage Trust you should know about.
If you would prefer to check out another company -- one with potentially superior financials -- then do not miss this free list of companies that have proven they can grow earnings.
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 email@example.com. 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.
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