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It is hard to get excited after looking at Agree Realty's (NYSE:ADC) recent performance, when its stock has declined 12% over the past three months. However, the company's fundamentals look pretty decent, and long-term financials are usually aligned with future market price movements. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Agree Realty's ROE today.
Return on equity or ROE is a key measure used to assess how efficiently a company's management is utilizing the company's capital. Simply put, it is used to assess the profitability of a company in relation to its equity capital.
How To Calculate Return On Equity?
The formula for return on equity is:
Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders' Equity
So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Agree Realty is:
3.4% = US$113m ÷ US$3.3b (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2021).
The 'return' is the income the business earned over the last year. Another way to think of that is that for every $1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn $0.03 in profit.
What Has ROE Got To Do With Earnings Growth?
So far, we've learned that ROE is a measure of a company's profitability. Depending on how much of these profits the company reinvests or "retains", and how effectively it does so, we are then able to assess a company’s earnings growth potential. Assuming all else is equal, companies that have both a higher return on equity and higher profit retention are usually the ones that have a higher growth rate when compared to companies that don't have the same features.
A Side By Side comparison of Agree Realty's Earnings Growth And 3.4% ROE
It is hard to argue that Agree Realty's ROE is much good in and of itself. Even compared to the average industry ROE of 6.8%, the company's ROE is quite dismal. However, the moderate 17% net income growth seen by Agree Realty over the past five years is definitely a positive. Therefore, the growth in earnings could probably have been caused by other variables. Such as - high earnings retention or an efficient management in place.
We then compared Agree Realty's net income growth with the industry and we're pleased to see that the company's growth figure is higher when compared with the industry which has a growth rate of 9.0% in the same period.
The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. What investors need to determine next is if the expected earnings growth, or the lack of it, is already built into the share price. By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. One good indicator of expected earnings growth is the P/E ratio which determines the price the market is willing to pay for a stock based on its earnings prospects. So, you may want to check if Agree Realty is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.
Is Agree Realty Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?
Agree Realty seems to be paying out most of its income as dividends judging by its three-year median payout ratio of 80%, meaning the company retains only 20% of its income. However, this is typical for REITs as they are often required by law to distribute most of their earnings. Despite this, the company's earnings grew moderately as we saw above.
Besides, Agree Realty has been paying dividends for at least ten years or more. This shows that the company is committed to sharing profits with its shareholders. Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company over the next three years is expected to be approximately 69%. However, Agree Realty's ROE is predicted to rise to 4.1% despite there being no anticipated change in its payout ratio.
In total, it does look like Agree Realty has some positive aspects to its business. That is, quite an impressive growth in earnings. However, the low profit retention means that the company's earnings growth could have been higher, had it been reinvesting a higher portion of its profits. On studying current analyst estimates, we found that analysts expect the company to continue its recent growth streak. To know more about the company's future earnings growth forecasts take a look at this free report on analyst forecasts for the company to find out more.
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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.