Essential Properties Realty Trust's (NYSE:EPRT) three-year total shareholder returns outpace the underlying earnings growth

·3 min read

The most you can lose on any stock (assuming you don't use leverage) is 100% of your money. But in contrast you can make much more than 100% if the company does well. For example, the Essential Properties Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE:EPRT) share price has soared 112% in the last three years. That sort of return is as solid as granite. On top of that, the share price is up 13% in about a quarter. But this could be related to the strong market, which is up 5.4% in the last three months.

While the stock has fallen 3.2% this week, it's worth focusing on the longer term and seeing if the stocks historical returns have been driven by the underlying fundamentals.

Check out our latest analysis for Essential Properties Realty Trust

To quote Buffett, 'Ships will sail around the world but the Flat Earth Society will flourish. There will continue to be wide discrepancies between price and value in the marketplace...' 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 three years of share price growth, Essential Properties Realty Trust achieved compound earnings per share growth of 78% per year. This EPS growth is higher than the 28% average annual increase in the share price. So one could reasonably conclude that the market has cooled on the stock. Having said that, the market is still optimistic, given the P/E ratio of 64.98.

The graphic below depicts how EPS has changed over time (unveil the exact values by clicking on the image).

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. Dive deeper into the earnings by checking this interactive graph of Essential Properties Realty 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). 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. So for companies that pay a generous dividend, the TSR is often a lot higher than the share price return. We note that for Essential Properties Realty Trust the TSR over the last 3 years was 145%, which is better than the share price return mentioned above. This is largely a result of its dividend payments!

A Different Perspective

Pleasingly, Essential Properties Realty Trust's total shareholder return last year was 62%. That's including the dividend. That's better than the annualized TSR of 35% over the last three years. These improved returns may hint at some real business momentum, implying that now could be a great time to delve deeper. 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. To that end, you should learn about the 3 warning signs we've spotted with Essential Properties Realty Trust (including 1 which is potentially serious) .

Of course, you might find a fantastic investment by looking elsewhere. So take a peek at this free list of companies we expect will grow earnings.

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. 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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