If You Had Bought Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR) Shares Five Years Ago You’d Have Made 30%

The main point of investing for the long term is to make money. Better yet, you’d like to see the share price move up more than the market average. But Equity Residential (NYSE:EQR) has fallen short of that second goal, with a share price rise of 30% over five years, which is below the market return. However, if you include the dividends then the return is market beating. However, more recent buyers should be happy with the increase of 21% over the last year.

See our latest analysis for Equity Residential

In his essay The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville Warren Buffett described how share prices do not always rationally reflect the value of a business. 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 five years of share price growth, Equity Residential moved from a loss to profitability. That’s generally thought to be a genuine positive, so we would expect to see an increasing share price.

The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).

NYSE:EQR Past and Future Earnings, April 18th 2019
NYSE:EQR Past and Future Earnings, April 18th 2019

It’s probably worth noting that the CEO is paid less than the median at similar sized 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. Dive deeper into the earnings by checking this interactive graph of Equity Residential’s earnings, revenue and cash flow.

What About Dividends?

As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). 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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. In the case of Equity Residential, it has a TSR of 79% 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

It’s good to see that Equity Residential has rewarded shareholders with a total shareholder return of 25% in the last twelve months. That’s including the dividend. That gain is better than the annual TSR over five years, which is 12%. Therefore it seems like sentiment around the company has been positive lately. Given the share price momentum remains strong, it might be worth taking a closer look at the stock, lest you miss an opportunity. Before spending more time on Equity Residential it might be wise to click here to see if insiders have been buying or selling shares.

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.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.