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Declining Stock and Decent Financials: Is The Market Wrong About Getty Realty Corp. (NYSE:GTY)?

It is hard to get excited after looking at Getty Realty's (NYSE:GTY) recent performance, when its stock has declined 5.5% over the past three months. But if you pay close attention, you might find that its key financial indicators look quite decent, which could mean that the stock could potentially rise in the long-term given how markets usually reward more resilient long-term fundamentals. Specifically, we decided to study Getty Realty's ROE in this article.

Return on equity or ROE is a key measure used to assess how efficiently a company's management is utilizing the company's capital. In other words, it is a profitability ratio which measures the rate of return on the capital provided by the company's shareholders.

Check out our latest analysis for Getty Realty

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 Getty Realty is:

8.6% = US$64m ÷ US$745m (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2022).

The 'return' is the yearly profit. Another way to think of that is that for every $1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn $0.09 in profit.

Why Is ROE Important For Earnings Growth?

We have already established that ROE serves as an efficient profit-generating gauge for a company's future earnings. We now need to evaluate how much profit the company reinvests or "retains" for future growth which then gives us an idea about the growth potential of the company. Assuming everything else remains unchanged, the higher the ROE and profit retention, the higher the growth rate of a company compared to companies that don't necessarily bear these characteristics.

A Side By Side comparison of Getty Realty's Earnings Growth And 8.6% ROE

At first glance, Getty Realty's ROE doesn't look very promising. However, the fact that the company's ROE is higher than the average industry ROE of 6.5%, is definitely interesting. This probably goes some way in explaining Getty Realty's moderate 12% growth over the past five years amongst other factors. Bear in mind, the company does have a moderately low ROE. It is just that the industry ROE is lower. So there might well be other reasons for the earnings to grow. For example, it is possible that the broader industry is going through a high growth phase, or that the company has a low payout ratio.

Next, on comparing Getty Realty's net income growth with the industry, we found that the company's reported growth is similar to the industry average growth rate of 11% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. The investor should try to establish if the expected growth or decline in earnings, whichever the case may be, is priced in. 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 Getty Realty is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.

Is Getty Realty Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

Getty Realty has a high three-year median payout ratio of 72%. This means that it has only 28% of its income left to reinvest into its business. However, it's not unusual to see a REIT with such a high payout ratio mainly due to statutory requirements. In spite of this, the company was able to grow its earnings by a fair bit, as we saw above.

Besides, Getty 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. Based on the latest analysts' estimates, we found that the company's future payout ratio over the next three years is expected to hold steady at 83%. Accordingly, forecasts suggest that Getty Realty's future ROE will be 7.4% which is again, similar to the current ROE.

Summary

Overall, we feel that Getty Realty certainly does have some positive factors to consider. Specifically, its respectable ROE which likely led to the considerable growth in earnings. Yet, the company is retaining a small portion of its profits. Which means that the company has been able to grow its earnings in spite of it, so that's not too bad. Having said that, on studying current analyst estimates, we were concerned to see that while the company has grown its earnings in the past, analysts expect its earnings to shrink in the future. To know more about the latest analysts predictions for the company, check out this visualization of analyst forecasts for the company.

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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