One simple way to benefit from the stock market is to buy an index fund. But if you pick the right individual stocks, you could make more than that. For example, Granite Real Estate Investment Trust (TSE:GRT.UN) shareholders have seen the share price rise 65% over three years, well in excess of the market return (14%, not including dividends). On the other hand, the returns haven’t been quite so good recently, with shareholders up just 29%, including dividends.
While the efficient markets hypothesis continues to be taught by some, it has been proven that markets are over-reactive dynamic systems, and investors are not always rational. One imperfect but simple way to consider how the market perception of a company has shifted is to compare the change in the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price movement.
Granite Real Estate Investment Trust was able to grow its EPS at 35% per year over three years, sending the share price higher. The average annual share price increase of 18% is actually lower than the EPS growth. So one could reasonably conclude that the market has cooled on the stock. We’d venture the lowish P/E ratio of 6.05 also reflects the negative sentiment around the stock.
The company’s earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
It’s good to see that there was some significant insider buying in the last three months. That’s a positive. That said, we think earnings and revenue growth trends are even more important factors to consider. Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here..
What About Dividends?
As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). 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. It’s fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. As it happens, Granite Real Estate Investment Trust’s TSR for the last 3 years was 94%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.
A Different Perspective
It’s nice to see that Granite Real Estate Investment Trust shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 29% over the last year. That’s including the dividend. That’s better than the annualised return of 14% over half a decade, implying that the company is doing better recently. In the best case scenario, this may hint at some real business momentum, implying that now could be a great time to delve deeper. It is all well and good that insiders have been buying shares, but we suggest you check here to see what price insiders were buying at.
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 CA exchanges.
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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. Thank you for reading.