When you buy shares in a company, it's worth keeping in mind the possibility that it could fail, and you could lose your money. But on a lighter note, a good company can see its share price rise well over 100%. One great example is National Storage Affiliates Trust (NYSE:NSA) which saw its share price drive 157% higher over five years. Also pleasing for shareholders was the 14% gain in the last three months. But this move may well have been assisted by the reasonably buoyant market (up 18% in 90 days).
To paraphrase Benjamin Graham: Over the short term the market is a voting machine, but over the long term it's a weighing machine. 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).
National Storage Affiliates Trust's earnings per share are down 57% per year, despite strong share price performance over five years. The impact of extraordinary items on earnings, in the last year, partially explain the diversion.
Essentially, it doesn't seem likely that investors are focused on EPS. Since the change in EPS doesn't seem to correlate with the change in share price, it's worth taking a look at other metrics.
We note that the dividend is higher than it was previously - always nice to see. Maybe dividend investors have helped support the share price. We'd posit that the revenue growth over the last five years, of 25% per year, would encourage people to invest.
The graphic below depicts how earnings and revenue have changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).
We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Having said that, most people consider earnings and revenue growth trends to be a more meaningful guide to the business. You can see what analysts are predicting for National Storage Affiliates Trust in this interactive graph of future profit estimates.
What About Dividends?
As well as measuring the share price return, investors should also consider the total shareholder return (TSR). 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. In the case of National Storage Affiliates Trust, it has a TSR of 219% for the last 5 years. 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
National Storage Affiliates Trust shareholders are up 7.0% for the year (even including dividends). But that return falls short of the market. If we look back over five years, the returns are even better, coming in at 26% per year for five years. It's quite possible the business continues to execute with prowess, even as the share price gains are slowing. 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. Even so, be aware that National Storage Affiliates Trust is showing 2 warning signs in our investment analysis , and 1 of those is a bit concerning...
National Storage Affiliates Trust is not the only stock that insiders are buying. For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.
Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.
This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. 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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