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The total return for Camden Property Trust (NYSE:CPT) investors has risen faster than earnings growth over the last five years

Camden Property Trust (NYSE:CPT) shareholders have seen the share price descend 13% over the month. On the bright side the share price is up over the last half decade. Unfortunately its return of 34% is below the market return of 66%. Unfortunately not all shareholders will have held it for the long term, so spare a thought for those caught in the 17% decline over the last twelve months.

Although Camden Property Trust has shed US$875m from its market cap this week, let's take a look at its longer term fundamental trends and see if they've driven returns.

See our latest analysis for Camden Property Trust

While markets are a powerful pricing mechanism, share prices reflect investor sentiment, not just underlying business performance. One way to examine how market sentiment has changed over time is to look at the interaction between a company's share price and its earnings per share (EPS).

During five years of share price growth, Camden Property Trust achieved compound earnings per share (EPS) growth of 11% per year. The EPS growth is more impressive than the yearly share price gain of 6% over the same period. So it seems the market isn't so enthusiastic about the stock these days.

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

It's probably worth noting that the CEO is paid less than the median at similar sized companies. It's always worth keeping an eye on CEO pay, but a more important question is whether the company will grow earnings throughout the years. It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on Camden Property Trust's earnings, revenue and cash flow.

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. We note that for Camden Property Trust the TSR over the last 5 years was 56%, 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

The total return of 15% received by Camden Property Trust shareholders over the last year isn't far from the market return of -16%. The silver lining is that longer term investors would have made a total return of 9% per year over half a decade. If the stock price has been impacted by changing sentiment, rather than deteriorating business conditions, it could spell opportunity. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Camden Property Trust better, we need to consider many other factors. For example, we've discovered 5 warning signs for Camden Property Trust (2 are concerning!) that you should be aware of before investing here.

Of course Camden Property Trust may not be the best stock to buy. So you may wish to see this free collection of growth stocks.

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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