Investors can buy low cost index fund if they want to receive the average market return. But across the board there are plenty of stocks that underperform the market. That's what has happened with the Omega Healthcare Investors, Inc. (NYSE:OHI) share price. It's up 35% over three years, but that is below the market return. Zooming in, the stock is actually down 17% in the last year.
While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. 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.
Over the last three years, Omega Healthcare Investors failed to grow earnings per share, which fell 5.3% (annualized).
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.
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.
The image below shows how earnings and revenue have tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).
We like that insiders have been buying shares in the last twelve months. Even so, future earnings will be far more important to whether current shareholders make money. So it makes a lot of sense to check out what analysts think Omega Healthcare Investors will earn in the future (free profit forecasts).
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 Omega Healthcare Investors, it has a TSR of 73% for the last 3 years. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!
A Different Perspective
Investors in Omega Healthcare Investors had a tough year, with a total loss of 10.0% (including dividends), against a market gain of about 22%. Even the share prices of good stocks drop sometimes, but we want to see improvements in the fundamental metrics of a business, before getting too interested. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 9%, each year, over five years. It could be that the recent sell-off is an opportunity, so it may be worth checking the fundamental data for signs of a long term growth trend. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Omega Healthcare Investors better, we need to consider many other factors. For example, we've discovered 6 warning signs for Omega Healthcare Investors (1 is a bit concerning!) that you should be aware of before investing here.
Omega Healthcare Investors is not the only stock that insiders are buying. For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.
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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