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Do Its Financials Have Any Role To Play In Driving Sunstone Hotel Investors, Inc.'s (NYSE:SHO) Stock Up Recently?

Most readers would already be aware that Sunstone Hotel Investors' (NYSE:SHO) stock increased significantly by 11% over the past month. As most would know, fundamentals are what usually guide market price movements over the long-term, so we decided to look at the company's key financial indicators today to determine if they have any role to play in the recent price movement. Specifically, we decided to study Sunstone Hotel Investors' 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. Simply put, it is used to assess the profitability of a company in relation to its equity capital.

See our latest analysis for Sunstone Hotel Investors

How Do You Calculate Return On Equity?

The formula for ROE is:

Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders' Equity

So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Sunstone Hotel Investors is:

8.0% = US$169m ÷ US$2.1b (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2022).

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 $0.08 in profit.

What Is The Relationship Between ROE And Earnings Growth?

So far, we've learned that ROE is a measure of a company's profitability. 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.

Sunstone Hotel Investors' Earnings Growth And 8.0% ROE

On the face of it, Sunstone Hotel Investors' ROE is not much to talk about. However, the fact that the company's ROE is higher than the average industry ROE of 6.5%, is definitely interesting. But seeing Sunstone Hotel Investors' five year net income decline of 39% over the past five years, we might rethink that. Remember, the company's ROE is a bit low to begin with, just that it is higher than the industry average. Therefore, the decline in earnings could also be the result of this.

That being said, we compared Sunstone Hotel Investors' performance with the industry and were concerned when we found that while the company has shrunk its earnings, the industry has grown its earnings at a rate of 11% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

Earnings growth is an important metric to consider when valuing a stock. It’s important for an investor to know whether the market has priced in the company's expected earnings growth (or decline). This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. If you're wondering about Sunstone Hotel Investors''s valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.

Is Sunstone Hotel Investors Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

Sunstone Hotel Investors' low LTM (or last twelve month) payout ratio of 14% (implying that it retains the remaining 86% of its profits) comes as a surprise when you pair it with the shrinking earnings. The low payout should mean that the company is retaining most of its earnings and consequently, should see some growth. So there could be some other explanations in that regard. For example, the company's business may be deteriorating.

Additionally, Sunstone Hotel Investors has paid dividends over a period of nine years, which means that the company's management is rather focused on keeping up its dividend payments, regardless of the shrinking earnings. Upon studying the latest analysts' consensus data, we found that the company is expected to keep paying out approximately 15% of its profits over the next three years. However, Sunstone Hotel Investors' future ROE is expected to decline to 4.3% despite there being not much change anticipated in the company's payout ratio.

Conclusion

Overall, we feel that Sunstone Hotel Investors certainly does have some positive factors to consider. Yet, the low earnings growth is a bit concerning, especially given that the company has a respectable rate of return and is reinvesting a huge portion of its profits. By the looks of it, there could be some other factors, not necessarily in control of the business, that's preventing growth. That being so, the latest industry analyst forecasts show that the analysts are expecting to see a huge improvement in the company's earnings growth rate. 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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