Essential Properties Realty Trust (NYSE:EPRT) Has Gifted Shareholders With A Fantastic 130% Total Return On Their Investment

By
Simply Wall St
Published
June 21, 2021
NYSE:EPRT
Source: Shutterstock

The worst result, after buying shares in a company (assuming no leverage), would be if you lose all the money you put in. But when you pick a company that is really flourishing, you can make more than 100%. To wit, the Essential Properties Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE:EPRT) share price has flown 101% in the last three years. How nice for those who held the stock! It's also good to see the share price up 20% over the last quarter.

View our latest analysis for Essential Properties Realty Trust

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. By comparing earnings per share (EPS) and share price changes over time, we can get a feel for how investor attitudes to a company have morphed over time.

During the three years of share price growth, Essential Properties Realty Trust actually saw its earnings per share (EPS) drop 74% per year.

So we doubt that the market is looking to EPS for its main judge of the company's value. Given this situation, it makes sense to look at other metrics too.

It could be that the revenue growth of 30% per year is viewed as evidence that Essential Properties Realty Trust is growing. If the company is being managed for the long term good, today's shareholders might be right to hold on.

The graphic below depicts how earnings and revenue have changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).

earnings-and-revenue-growth
NYSE:EPRT Earnings and Revenue Growth June 21st 2021

We're pleased to report that the CEO is remunerated more modestly than most CEOs at similarly capitalized companies. It's always worth keeping an eye on CEO pay, but a more important question is whether the company will grow earnings throughout the years. You can see what analysts are predicting for Essential Properties Realty Trust in this interactive graph of future profit estimates.

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. We note that for Essential Properties Realty Trust the TSR over the last 3 years was 130%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!

A Different Perspective

We're pleased to report that Essential Properties Realty Trust rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 68% over the last year. That's including the dividend. That gain actually surpasses the 32% TSR it generated (per year) over three years. The improving returns to shareholders suggests the stock is becoming more popular with time. I find it very interesting to look at share price over the long term as a proxy for business performance. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. To that end, you should learn about the 3 warning signs we've spotted with Essential Properties Realty Trust (including 1 which is potentially serious) .

If you would prefer to check out another company -- one with potentially superior financials -- then do not miss this free list of companies that have proven they can grow earnings.

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.

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