The simplest way to invest in stocks is to buy exchange traded funds. But if you pick the right individual stocks, you could make more than that. For example, the Alternative Income REIT PLC (LON:AIRE) share price is up 48% in the last year, clearly besting the market return of around 23% (not including dividends). If it can keep that out-performance up over the long term, investors will do very well! Zooming out, the stock is actually down 27% in the last three years.
To quote Buffett, 'Ships will sail around the world but the Flat Earth Society will flourish. There will continue to be wide discrepancies between price and value in the marketplace...' One flawed but reasonable way to assess how sentiment around a company has changed is to compare the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price.
During the last year Alternative Income REIT saw its earnings per share (EPS) drop below zero. While some may see this as temporary, we're a skeptical bunch, and so we're a little surprised to see the share price go up. It may be that the company has done well on other metrics.
Absent any improvement, we don't think a thirst for dividends is pushing up the Alternative Income REIT's share price. It seems far more likely that the 6.8% boost to the revenue over the last year, is making the difference. Revenue growth often does precede earnings growth, so some investors might be willing to forgo profits today because they have their eyes fixed firmly on the future.
You can see how earnings and revenue have changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. This free interactive report on Alternative Income REIT's earnings, revenue and cash flow is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.
What About Dividends?
As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). 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 Alternative Income REIT, it has a TSR of 60% for the last 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 Alternative Income REIT shareholders have gained 60% (in total) over the last year. That includes the value of the dividend. This recent result is much better than the 3% drop suffered by shareholders each year (on average) over the last three. It could well be that the business has turned around -- or else regained the confidence of investors. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Alternative Income REIT better, we need to consider many other factors. Like risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 3 warning signs for Alternative Income REIT (of which 1 is a bit concerning!) you should know about.
There are plenty of other companies that have insiders buying up shares. You probably do not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on GB 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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