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Pulling back 8.9% this week, UDR's NYSE:UDR) five-year decline in earnings may be coming into investors focus

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It might be of some concern to shareholders to see the UDR, Inc. (NYSE:UDR) share price down 17% in the last month. On the bright side the share price is up over the last half decade. However we are not very impressed because the share price is only up 27%, less than the market return of 79%.

In light of the stock dropping 8.9% in the past week, we want to investigate the longer term story, and see if fundamentals have been the driver of the company's positive five-year return.

See our latest analysis for UDR

While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. 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.

UDR's earnings per share are down 17% per year, despite strong share price performance over five years.

Since the EPS are down strongly, it seems highly unlikely market participants are looking at EPS to value the company. The falling EPS doesn't correlate with the climbing share price, so it's worth taking a look at other metrics.

In contrast revenue growth of 7.6% per year is probably viewed as evidence that UDR is growing, a real positive. It's quite possible that management are prioritizing revenue growth over EPS growth at the moment.

You can see how earnings and revenue have changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).

earnings-and-revenue-growth
earnings-and-revenue-growth

UDR is a well known stock, with plenty of analyst coverage, suggesting some visibility into future growth. So it makes a lot of sense to check out what analysts think UDR will earn in the future (free analyst consensus 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. 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. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. As it happens, UDR's TSR for the last 5 years was 49%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.

A Different Perspective

We're pleased to report that UDR shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 8.6% over one year. And that does include the dividend. That's better than the annualised return of 8% over half a decade, implying that the company is doing better recently. Someone with an optimistic perspective could view the recent improvement in TSR as indicating that the business itself is getting better with time. 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. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We've identified 4 warning signs with UDR (at least 1 which doesn't sit too well with us) , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

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. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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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