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SL Green Realty (NYSE:SLG) shareholders are up 7.5% this past week, but still in the red over the last five years

SL Green Realty Corp. (NYSE:SLG) shareholders should be happy to see the share price up 17% in the last month. But if you look at the last five years the returns have not been good. You would have done a lot better buying an index fund, since the stock has dropped 62% in that half decade.

The recent uptick of 7.5% could be a positive sign of things to come, so let's take a look at historical fundamentals.

See our latest analysis for SL Green Realty

In his essay The Superinvestors of Graham-and-Doddsville Warren Buffett described how share prices do not always rationally reflect the value of a business. One flawed but reasonable way to assess how sentiment around a company has changed is to compare the earnings per share (EPS) with the share price.

In the last half decade SL Green Realty saw its share price fall as its EPS declined below zero. This was, in part, due to extraordinary items impacting earnings. Since the company has fallen to a loss making position, it's hard to compare the change in EPS with the share price change. But we would generally expect a lower price, given the situation.

The company's earnings per share (over time) is depicted in the image below (click to see the exact numbers).

earnings-per-share-growth
earnings-per-share-growth

It might be well worthwhile taking a look at our free report on SL Green Realty's earnings, revenue and cash flow.

What About Dividends?

When looking at investment returns, it is important to consider the difference between total shareholder return (TSR) and share price return. 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. Arguably, the TSR gives a more comprehensive picture of the return generated by a stock. We note that for SL Green Realty the TSR over the last 5 years was -48%, 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

We regret to report that SL Green Realty shareholders are down 41% for the year (even including dividends). Unfortunately, that's worse than the broader market decline of 7.7%. However, it could simply be that the share price has been impacted by broader market jitters. It might be worth keeping an eye on the fundamentals, in case there's a good opportunity. Regrettably, last year's performance caps off a bad run, with the shareholders facing a total loss of 8% per year over five years. Generally speaking long term share price weakness can be a bad sign, though contrarian investors might want to research the stock in hope of a turnaround. It's always interesting to track share price performance over the longer term. But to understand SL Green Realty better, we need to consider many other factors. For instance, we've identified 2 warning signs for SL Green Realty (1 is potentially serious) that you should be aware of.

If you are like me, then you will not want to miss this free list of growing companies that insiders are buying.

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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