In order to justify the effort of selecting individual stocks, it’s worth striving to beat the returns from a market index fund. But in any portfolio, there will be mixed results between individual stocks. So we wouldn’t blame long term Hersha Hospitality Trust (NYSE:HT) shareholders for doubting their decision to hold, with the stock down 15% over a half decade. The good news is that the stock is up 4.1% in the last week.
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. One imperfect but simple way to consider how the market perception of a company has shifted is to compare the change in the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price movement.
Over five years Hersha Hospitality Trust improved its earnings per share from a loss-making position. That would generally be considered a positive, so we are surprised to see the share price is down.
The steady dividend doesn’t really explain why the share price is down. It’s not immediately clear to us why the stock price is down but further research might provide some answers.
The chart below shows how revenue and earnings have changed with time, (if you click on the chart you can see the actual values).
We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Even so, future earnings will be far more important to whether current shareholders make money. You can see what analysts are predicting for Hersha Hospitality 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. The TSR incorporates the value of any discounted capital raisings, along with any dividends, based on the assumption that the dividends are reinvested. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. In the case of Hersha Hospitality Trust, it has a TSR of 12% for the last 5 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. And there’s no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!
A Different Perspective
We’re pleased to report that Hersha Hospitality Trust shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 18% over one year. And that does include the dividend. That’s better than the annualised return of 2.4% over half a decade, implying that the company is doing better recently. In the best case scenario, this may hint at some real business momentum, implying that now could be a great time to delve deeper. The data on insider buying is an obvious place to start. You can click here to see who has been buying shares – and the price they paid.
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 US exchanges.
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If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at email@example.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.