As an investor its worth striving to ensure your overall portfolio beats the market average. But the risk of stock picking is that you will likely buy under-performing companies. Unfortunately, that’s been the case for longer term Dexus (ASX:DXS) shareholders, since the share price is down 22% in the last three years, falling well short of the market return of around 29%.
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.
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.
Dexus saw its EPS decline at a compound rate of 0.9% per year, over the last three years. The share price decline of 8% is actually steeper than the EPS slippage. So it seems the market was too confident about the business, in the past. This increased caution is also evident in the rather low P/E ratio, which is sitting at 7.51.
The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).
It’s probably worth noting we’ve seen significant insider buying in the last quarter, which we consider 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?
It is important to consider the total shareholder return, as well as the share price return, for any given stock. The TSR incorporates the value of any spin-offs or discounted capital raisings, along with any dividends, based on the assumption that the dividends are reinvested. It’s fair to say that the TSR gives a more complete picture for stocks that pay a dividend. As it happens, Dexus’ TSR for the last 3 years was -10%, which exceeds the share price return mentioned earlier. And there’s no prize for guessing that the dividend payments largely explain the divergence!
A Different Perspective
It’s nice to see that Dexus shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 4.0% over the last year. And that does include the dividend. Having said that, the five-year TSR of 5% a year, is even better. It’s always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Dexus better, we need to consider many other factors. For instance, we’ve identified 3 warning signs for Dexus (1 can’t be ignored) that you should be aware of.
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 AU 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.