Passive investing in an index fund is a good way to ensure your own returns roughly match the overall market. While individual stocks can be big winners, plenty more fail to generate satisfactory returns. For example, the SmartCentres Real Estate Investment Trust (TSE:SRU.UN) share price is down 38% in the last year. That falls noticeably short of the market decline of around 2.8%. Even if you look out three years, the returns are still disappointing, with the share price down34% in that time.
While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just 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).
Unhappily, SmartCentres Real Estate Investment Trust had to report a 66% decline in EPS over the last year. This fall in the EPS is significantly worse than the 38% the share price fall. It may have been that the weak EPS was not as bad as some had feared.
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 we've seen significant insider buying in the last quarter, which we consider a positive. On the other hand, we think the revenue and earnings trends are much more meaningful measures of the business. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on SmartCentres Real Estate Investment 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 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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. In the case of SmartCentres Real Estate Investment Trust, it has a TSR of -33% for the last year. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
While the broader market lost about 2.8% in the twelve months, SmartCentres Real Estate Investment Trust shareholders did even worse, losing 33% (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. Regrettably, last year's performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 2% per year over five years. Generally speaking long term share price weakness can be a bad sign, though contrarian investors might want to research the stock in hope of a turnaround. 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. Even so, be aware that SmartCentres Real Estate Investment Trust is showing 3 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 1 of those is concerning...
SmartCentres Real Estate Investment Trust is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with insider buying.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on CA exchanges.
If you’re looking to trade SmartCentres Real Estate Investment Trust, open an account with the lowest-cost* platform trusted by professionals, Interactive Brokers. Their clients from over 200 countries and territories trade stocks, options, futures, forex, bonds and funds worldwide from a single integrated account.
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.
*Interactive Brokers Rated Lowest Cost Broker by StockBrokers.com Annual Online Review 2020
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email email@example.com.