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With its stock down 3.9% over the past three months, it is easy to disregard Easterly Government Properties (NYSE:DEA). However, the company's fundamentals look pretty decent, and long-term financials are usually aligned with future market price movements. In this article, we decided to focus on Easterly Government Properties' ROE.
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 short, ROE shows the profit each dollar generates with respect to its shareholder investments.
How Is ROE Calculated?
ROE can be calculated by using the formula:
Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders' Equity
So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Easterly Government Properties is:
1.0% = US$14m ÷ US$1.3b (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2020).
The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. Another way to think of that is that for every $1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn $0.01 in profit.
Why Is ROE Important For Earnings Growth?
Thus far, we have learned that ROE measures how efficiently a company is generating its profits. 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. Generally speaking, other things being equal, firms with a high return on equity and profit retention, have a higher growth rate than firms that don’t share these attributes.
Easterly Government Properties' Earnings Growth And 1.0% ROE
As you can see, Easterly Government Properties' ROE looks pretty weak. Not just that, even compared to the industry average of 4.6%, the company's ROE is entirely unremarkable. Despite this, surprisingly, Easterly Government Properties saw an exceptional 33% net income growth over the past five years. We believe that there might be other aspects that are positively influencing the company's earnings growth. For instance, the company has a low payout ratio or is being managed efficiently.
As a next step, we compared Easterly Government Properties' net income growth with the industry, and pleasingly, we found that the growth seen by the company is higher than the average industry growth of 10%.
The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. It’s important for an investor to know whether the market has priced in the company's expected earnings growth (or decline). Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. Is DEA fairly valued? This infographic on the company's intrinsic value has everything you need to know.
Is Easterly Government Properties Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?
Easterly Government Properties seems to be paying out most of its income as dividends judging by its three-year median payout ratio of 75%, meaning the company retains only 25% 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 have grown significantly as we saw above.
Moreover, Easterly Government Properties is determined to keep sharing its profits with shareholders which we infer from its long history of six years of paying a dividend. 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 81%.
In total, it does look like Easterly Government Properties has some positive aspects to its business. While no doubt its earnings growth is pretty substantial, we do feel that the reinvestment rate is pretty low, meaning, the earnings growth number could have been significantly higher had the company been retaining more of its profits. With that said, the latest industry analyst forecasts reveal that the company's earnings growth is expected to slow down. Are these analysts expectations based on the broad expectations for the industry, or on the company's fundamentals? Click here to be taken to our analyst's forecasts page for the company.
This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. 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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