You can invest in an index fund if you want to make sure your returns approximately match the overall market. By comparison, an individual stock is unlikely to match market returns - and could well fall short. For example, that's what happened with Healthpeak Properties, Inc. (NYSE:PEAK) over the last year - it's share price is down 23% versus a market decline of 18%. Longer term shareholders haven't suffered as badly, since the stock is down a comparatively less painful 18% in three years. In the last ninety days we've seen the share price slide 25%. But this could be related to the weak market, which is down 15% in the same period.
With that in mind, it's worth seeing if the company's underlying fundamentals have been the driver of long term performance, or if there are some discrepancies.
There is no denying that markets are sometimes efficient, but prices do not always reflect 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.
During the last year Healthpeak Properties grew its earnings per share, moving from a loss to a profit.
When a company has just transitioned to profitability, earnings per share growth is not always the best way to look at the share price action. But we may find different metrics more enlightening.
We don't see any weakness in the Healthpeak Properties' dividend so the steady payout can't really explain the share price drop. From what we can see, revenue is pretty flat, so that doesn't really explain the share price drop. Unless, of course, the market was expecting a revenue uptick.
You can see how earnings and revenue have changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).
We know that Healthpeak Properties has improved its bottom line lately, but what does the future have in store? So it makes a lot of sense to check out what analysts think Healthpeak Properties will earn in the future (free profit forecasts).
What About Dividends?
It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. 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. In the case of Healthpeak Properties, it has a TSR of -21% for the last 1 year. That exceeds its share price return that we previously mentioned. And there's no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!
A Different Perspective
While the broader market lost about 18% in the twelve months, Healthpeak Properties shareholders did even worse, losing 21% (even including dividends). Having said that, it's inevitable that some stocks will be oversold in a falling market. The key is to keep your eyes on the fundamental developments. Longer term investors wouldn't be so upset, since they would have made 0.8%, each year, over five years. If the fundamental data continues to indicate long term sustainable growth, the current sell-off could be an opportunity worth considering. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Healthpeak Properties better, we need to consider many other factors. Like risks, for instance. Every company has them, and we've spotted 3 warning signs for Healthpeak Properties (of which 1 doesn't sit too well with us!) you should know about.
If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.
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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