Investors Who Bought Simon Property Group (NYSE:SPG) Shares Three Years Ago Are Now Down 15%

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As an investor its worth striving to ensure your overall portfolio beats the market average. But if you try your hand at stock picking, your risk returning less than the market. We regret to report that long term Simon Property Group, Inc. (NYSE:SPG) shareholders have had that experience, with the share price dropping 15% in three years, versus a market return of about 41%. There was little comfort for shareholders in the last week as the price declined a further 2.7%.

Check out our latest analysis for Simon Property Group

To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it’s a weighing machine. 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.

Although the share price is down over three years, Simon Property Group actually managed to grow EPS by 10% per year in that time. Given the share price reaction, one might suspect that EPS is not a good guide to the business performance during the period (perhaps due to a one-off loss or gain). Alternatively, growth expectations may have been unreasonable in the past. It’s worth taking a look at other metrics, because the EPS growth doesn’t seem to match with the falling share price.

Given the healthiness of the dividend payments, we doubt that they’ve concerned the market. Revenue has been pretty flat over three years, so that isn’t an obvious reason shareholders would sell. So it might be worth looking at how revenue growth over time, in greater detail.

Depicted in the graphic below, you’ll see revenue and earnings over time. If you want more detail, you can click on the chart itself.

NYSE:SPG Income Statement, May 29th 2019
NYSE:SPG Income Statement, May 29th 2019

We know that Simon Property Group has improved its bottom line lately, but what does the future have in store? You can see what analysts are predicting for Simon Property Group in this interactive graph of future profit estimates.

What About Dividends?

As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). The TSR is a return calculation that accounts for the value of cash dividends (assuming that any dividend received was reinvested) and the calculated value of any discounted capital raisings and spin-offs. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. As it happens, Simon Property Group’s TSR for the last 3 years was -3.1%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.

A Different Perspective

It’s nice to see that Simon Property Group shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 10% over the last year. That’s including the dividend. Since the one-year TSR is better than the five-year TSR (the latter coming in at 4.2% per year), it would seem that the stock’s performance has improved in recent times. Someone with an optimistic perspective could view the recent improvement in TSR as indicating that the business itself is getting better with time. If you would like to research Simon Property Group in more detail then you might want to take a look at whether insiders have been buying or selling shares in the company.

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.