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Will National Storage Affiliates Trust (NYSE:NSA) Continue To Underperform Its Industry?

Dale Lombardi

This analysis is intended to introduce important early concepts to people who are starting to invest and want to begin learning the link between National Storage Affiliates Trust (NYSE:NSA)’s return fundamentals and stock market performance.

National Storage Affiliates Trust’s (NYSE:NSA) most recent return on equity was a substandard 3.95% relative to its industry performance of 7.63% over the past year. An investor may attribute an inferior ROE to a relatively inefficient performance, and whilst this can often be the case, knowing the nuts and bolts of the ROE calculation may change that perspective and give you a deeper insight into NSA’s past performance. I will take you through how metrics such as financial leverage impact ROE which may affect the overall sustainability of NSA’s returns. View out our latest analysis for National Storage Affiliates Trust

Breaking down ROE — the mother of all ratios

Return on Equity (ROE) is a measure of National Storage Affiliates Trust’s profit relative to its shareholders’ equity. It essentially shows how much the company can generate in earnings given the amount of equity it has raised. In most cases, a higher ROE is preferred; however, there are many other factors we must consider prior to making any investment decisions.

Return on Equity = Net Profit ÷ Shareholders Equity

ROE is measured against cost of equity in order to determine the efficiency of National Storage Affiliates Trust’s equity capital deployed. Its cost of equity is 8.59%. Given a discrepancy of -4.64% between return and cost, this indicated that National Storage Affiliates Trust may be paying more for its capital than what it’s generating in return. ROE can be dissected into three distinct ratios: net profit margin, asset turnover, and financial leverage. This is called the Dupont Formula:

Dupont Formula

ROE = profit margin × asset turnover × financial leverage

ROE = (annual net profit ÷ sales) × (sales ÷ assets) × (assets ÷ shareholders’ equity)

ROE = annual net profit ÷ shareholders’ equity

NYSE:NSA Last Perf June 27th 18

The first component is profit margin, which measures how much of sales is retained after the company pays for all its expenses. Asset turnover reveals how much revenue can be generated from National Storage Affiliates Trust’s asset base. The most interesting ratio, and reflective of sustainability of its ROE, is financial leverage. Since ROE can be inflated by excessive debt, we need to examine National Storage Affiliates Trust’s debt-to-equity level. Currently the debt-to-equity ratio stands at a reasonable 83.26%, which means its ROE is driven by its ability to grow its profit without a significant debt burden.

NYSE:NSA Historical Debt June 27th 18

Next Steps:

While ROE is a relatively simple calculation, it can be broken down into different ratios, each telling a different story about the strengths and weaknesses of a company. National Storage Affiliates Trust’s ROE is underwhelming relative to the industry average, and its returns were also not strong enough to cover its own cost of equity. However, ROE is not likely to be inflated by excessive debt funding, giving shareholders more conviction in the sustainability of returns, which has headroom to increase further. Although ROE can be a useful metric, it is only a small part of diligent research.

For National Storage Affiliates Trust, I’ve compiled three essential factors you should further examine:

  1. Financial Health: Does it have a healthy balance sheet? Take a look at our free balance sheet analysis with six simple checks on key factors like leverage and risk.
  2. Valuation: What is National Storage Affiliates Trust worth today? Is the stock undervalued, even when its growth outlook is factored into its intrinsic value? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether National Storage Affiliates Trust is currently mispriced by the market.
  3. Other High-Growth Alternatives : Are there other high-growth stocks you could be holding instead of National Storage Affiliates Trust? Explore our interactive list of stocks with large growth potential to get an idea of what else is out there you may be missing!


To help readers see pass the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned.