For many investors, the main point of stock picking is to generate higher returns than the overall market. But the risk of stock picking is that you will likely buy under-performing companies. We regret to report that long term 360 Capital REIT (ASX:TOT) shareholders have had that experience, with the share price dropping 28% in three years, versus a market return of about 16%. It's down 1.1% in the last seven days.
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).
360 Capital REIT saw its EPS decline at a compound rate of 16% per year, over the last three years. This fall in the EPS is worse than the 10% compound annual share price fall. So the market may not be too worried about the EPS figure, at the moment -- or it may have previously priced some of the drop in.
The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on 360 Capital REIT'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 360 Capital REIT the TSR over the last 3 years was -6.2%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!
A Different Perspective
While the broader market lost about 2.9% in the twelve months, 360 Capital REIT shareholders did even worse, losing 17% (even including dividends). Having said that, it's inevitable that some stocks will be oversold in a falling market. The key is to keep your eyes on the fundamental developments. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 5%, each year, over five years. It could be that the recent sell-off is an opportunity, so it may be worth checking the fundamental data for signs of a long term growth trend. 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. To that end, you should learn about the 4 warning signs we've spotted with 360 Capital REIT (including 2 which is are a bit unpleasant) .
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 AU exchanges.
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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. 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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