Market is not liking Ladder Capital's (NYSE:LADR) earnings decline as stock retreats 3.6% this week

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Many investors define successful investing as beating the market average over the long term. But its virtually certain that sometimes you will buy stocks that fall short of the market average returns. We regret to report that long term Ladder Capital Corp (NYSE:LADR) shareholders have had that experience, with the share price dropping 35% in three years, versus a market return of about 49%.

Since Ladder Capital has shed US$55m from its value in the past 7 days, let’s see if the longer term decline has been driven by the business’ economics.

Check out our latest analysis for Ladder Capital

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 the three years that the share price fell, Ladder Capital’s earnings per share (EPS) dropped by 27% each year. In comparison the 13% compound annual share price decline isn’t as bad as the EPS drop-off. So, despite the prior disappointment, shareholders must have some confidence the situation will improve, longer term.

You can see how EPS has changed over time in the image below (click on the chart to see the exact values).

earnings-per-share-growth

We know that Ladder Capital has improved its bottom line lately, but is it going to grow revenue? You could check out this free report showing analyst revenue 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 Ladder Capital, it has a TSR of -17% for the last 3 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

We’re pleased to report that Ladder Capital shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 5.0% over one year. And that does include the dividend. Since the one-year TSR is better than the five-year TSR (the latter coming in at 4% per year), it would seem that the stock’s performance has improved in recent times. Someone with an optimistic perspective could view the recent improvement in TSR as indicating that the business itself is getting better with time. It’s always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand Ladder Capital better, we need to consider many other factors. Consider for instance, the ever-present spectre of investment risk. We’ve identified 2 warning signs with Ladder Capital , and understanding them should be part of your investment process.

But note: Ladder Capital may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with past earnings growth (and further growth forecast).

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US 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.