Investors can buy low cost index fund if they want to receive the average market return. But if you invest in individual stocks, some are likely to underperform. Unfortunately for shareholders, while the MGM Growth Properties LLC (NYSE:MGP) share price is up 27% in the last three years, that falls short of the market return. Some buyers are laughing, though, with an increase of 22% in the last year.
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 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).
During the three years of share price growth, MGM Growth Properties actually saw its earnings per share (EPS) drop 4.6% per year.
Based on these numbers, we think that the decline in earnings per share may not be a good representation of how the business has changed over the years. So other metrics may hold the key to understanding what is influencing investors.
We note that the dividend is higher than it was preciously, so that may have assisted the share price. It could be that the company is reaching maturity and dividend investors are buying for the yield. On top of that, revenue grew at a rate of 3.9% per year, and it's likely investors interpret that as pointing to a brighter future.
You can see how earnings and revenue have changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. This free report showing analyst forecasts should help you form a view on MGM Growth Properties
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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. In the case of MGM Growth Properties, it has a TSR of 54% for the last 3 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
MGM Growth Properties produced a TSR of 32% over the last year. It's always nice to make money but this return falls short of the market return which was about 40% for the year. On the other hand, the TSR over three years was worse, at just 16% per year. This suggests the company's position is improving. If the business can justify the share price gain with improving fundamental data, then there could be more gains to come. While it is well worth considering the different impacts that market conditions can have on the share price, there are other factors that are even more important. For instance, we've identified 2 warning signs for MGM Growth Properties (1 makes us a bit uncomfortable) that you should be aware of.
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.
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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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