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The main point of investing for the long term is to make money. Furthermore, you'd generally like to see the share price rise faster than the market. Unfortunately for shareholders, while the Precinct Properties New Zealand Limited (NZSE:PCT) share price is up 30% in the last five years, that's less than the market return. The last year hasn't been great either, with the stock up just 1.8%.
So let's assess the underlying fundamentals over the last 5 years and see if they've moved in lock-step with shareholder returns.
While the efficient markets hypothesis continues to be taught by some, it has been proven that markets are over-reactive dynamic systems, and investors are not always rational. 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.
During five years of share price growth, Precinct Properties New Zealand achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 2.2% per year. This EPS growth is lower than the 5% average annual increase in the share price. So it's fair to assume the market has a higher opinion of the business than it did five years ago. That's not necessarily surprising considering the five-year track record of earnings growth.
You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
It's good to see that there was some significant insider buying in the last three months. That's a positive. On the other hand, we think the revenue and earnings trends are much more meaningful measures of the business. Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here..
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. It's fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. We note that for Precinct Properties New Zealand the TSR over the last 5 years was 61%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. The dividends paid by the company have thusly boosted the total shareholder return.
A Different Perspective
Precinct Properties New Zealand shareholders are up 5.9% for the year (even including dividends). Unfortunately this falls short of the market return. On the bright side, the longer term returns (running at about 10% a year, over half a decade) look better. It's quite possible the business continues to execute with prowess, even as the share price gains are slowing. 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. Take risks, for example - Precinct Properties New Zealand has 4 warning signs (and 1 which makes us a bit uncomfortable) we think you should know about.
Precinct Properties New Zealand is not the only stock insiders are buying. So take a peek at this free list of growing companies with insider buying.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on NZ exchanges.
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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