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. To wit, the CatchMark Timber Trust, Inc. (NYSE:CTT) share price is 62% higher than it was a year ago, much better than the market return of around 46% (not including dividends) in the same period. That's a solid performance by our standards! In contrast, the longer term returns are negative, since the share price is 8.2% lower than it was three years ago.
CatchMark Timber Trust wasn't profitable in the last twelve months, it is unlikely we'll see a strong correlation between its share price and its earnings per share (EPS). Arguably revenue is our next best option. When a company doesn't make profits, we'd generally expect to see good revenue growth. That's because it's hard to be confident a company will be sustainable if revenue growth is negligible, and it never makes a profit.
CatchMark Timber Trust actually shrunk its revenue over the last year, with a reduction of 4.8%. The stock is up 62% in that time, a fine performance given the revenue drop. We can correlate the share price rise with revenue or profit growth, but it seems the market had previously expected weaker results, and sentiment around the stock is improving.
The company's revenue and earnings (over time) are depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).
This free interactive report on CatchMark Timber Trust's balance sheet strength is a great place to start, if you want to investigate the stock further.
What About Dividends?
It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. 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. As it happens, CatchMark Timber Trust's TSR for the last year was 71%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!
A Different Perspective
It's nice to see that CatchMark Timber Trust shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 71% over the last year. And that does include the dividend. That's better than the annualised return of 8% over half a decade, implying that the company is doing better recently. Given the share price momentum remains strong, it might be worth taking a closer look at the stock, lest you miss an opportunity. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand CatchMark Timber Trust better, we need to consider many other factors. For example, we've discovered 2 warning signs for CatchMark Timber Trust that you should be aware of before investing here.
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 US exchanges.
If you’re looking to trade CatchMark Timber 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. Promoted
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 editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.