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Tanger Factory Outlet Centers' (NYSE:SKT) five-year decline in earnings translates into losses for shareholders

For many, the main point of investing is to generate higher returns than the overall market. But the main game is to find enough winners to more than offset the losers At this point some shareholders may be questioning their investment in Tanger Factory Outlet Centers, Inc. (NYSE:SKT), since the last five years saw the share price fall 34%. Contrary to the longer term story, the last month has been good for stockholders, with a share price gain of 9.5%. However, this may be a matter of broader market optimism, since stocks are up 5.6% in the same time.

On a more encouraging note the company has added US$51m to its market cap in just the last 7 days, so let's see if we can determine what's driven the five-year loss for shareholders.

See our latest analysis for Tanger Factory Outlet Centers

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. By comparing earnings per share (EPS) and share price changes over time, we can get a feel for how investor attitudes to a company have morphed over time.

Looking back five years, both Tanger Factory Outlet Centers' share price and EPS declined; the latter at a rate of 23% per year. This fall in the EPS is worse than the 8% compound annual share price fall. So investors might expect EPS to bounce back -- or they may have previously foreseen the EPS decline.

The image below shows how EPS has tracked over time (if you click on the image you can see greater detail).

earnings-per-share-growth
earnings-per-share-growth

We know that Tanger Factory Outlet Centers has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? Check if analysts think Tanger Factory Outlet Centers will grow revenue in the future.

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. As it happens, Tanger Factory Outlet Centers' TSR for the last 5 years was -11%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.

A Different Perspective

While it's never nice to take a loss, Tanger Factory Outlet Centers shareholders can take comfort that , including dividends,their trailing twelve month loss of 3.5% wasn't as bad as the market loss of around 12%. Unfortunately, last year's performance may indicate unresolved challenges, given that it's worse than the annualised loss of 2% over the last half decade. Whilst Baron Rothschild does tell the investor "buy when there's blood in the streets, even if the blood is your own", buyers would need to examine the data carefully to be comfortable that the business itself is sound. I find it very interesting to look at share price over the long term as a proxy for business performance. But to truly gain insight, we need to consider other information, too. For instance, we've identified 4 warning signs for Tanger Factory Outlet Centers (1 is a bit unpleasant) that you should be aware of.

But note: Tanger Factory Outlet Centers may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with past earnings growth (and further growth forecast).

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

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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