It is doubtless a positive to see that the Hammerson plc (LON:HMSO) share price has gained some 40% in the last three months. But will that heal all the wounds inflicted over 5 years of declines? Unlikely. In fact, the share price has tumbled down a mountain to land 99% lower after that period. The recent bounce might mean the long decline is over, but we are not confident. The fundamental business performance will ultimately determine if the turnaround can be sustained.
We really feel for shareholders in this scenario. It's a good reminder of the importance of diversification, and it's worth keeping in mind there's more to life than money, anyway.
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).
Hammerson has made a profit in the past. However, it made a loss in the last twelve months, suggesting profit may be an unreliable metric at this stage. Other metrics may better explain the share price move.
The modest 1.8% dividend yield is unlikely to be guiding the market view of the stock. It could be that the revenue decline of 3.5% per year is viewed as evidence that Hammerson is shrinking. This has probably encouraged some shareholders to sell down the stock.
The company's revenue and earnings (over time) are depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Even so, future earnings will be far more important to whether current shareholders make money. If you are thinking of buying or selling Hammerson stock, you should check out this free report showing analyst profit forecasts.
What About Dividends?
When looking at investment returns, it is important to consider the difference between total shareholder return (TSR) and share price return. Whereas the share price return only reflects the change in the share price, the TSR includes the value of dividends (assuming they were reinvested) and the benefit of any discounted capital raising or spin-off. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. In the case of Hammerson, it has a TSR of -89% for the last 5 years. 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
We regret to report that Hammerson shareholders are down 79% for the year (even including dividends). Unfortunately, that's worse than the broader market decline of 4.4%. 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. Unfortunately, last year's performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it was worse than the annualised loss of 14% over the last half decade. We realise that Baron Rothschild has said investors should "buy when there is blood on the streets", but we caution that investors should first be sure they are buying a high quality business. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Hammerson better, we need to consider many other factors. To that end, you should learn about the 4 warning signs we've spotted with Hammerson (including 2 which are concerning) .
Hammerson is not the only stock that insiders are buying. For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.
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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