Urstadt Biddle Properties (NYSE:UBA) has had a rough month with its share price down 8.6%. To decide if this trend could continue, we decided to look at its weak fundamentals as they shape the long-term market trends. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Urstadt Biddle Properties' ROE today.
Return on equity or ROE is an important factor to be considered by a shareholder because it tells them how effectively their capital is being reinvested. Put another way, it reveals the company's success at turning shareholder investments into profits.
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 Urstadt Biddle Properties is:
7.9% = US$51m ÷ US$643m (Based on the trailing twelve months to October 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 $0.08 in profit.
What Has ROE Got To Do With Earnings Growth?
Thus far, we have learned that ROE measures how efficiently a company is generating its profits. Based on how much of its profits the company chooses to reinvest or "retain", we are then able to evaluate a company's future ability to generate profits. 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 Urstadt Biddle Properties' Earnings Growth And 7.9% ROE
At first glance, Urstadt Biddle Properties' ROE doesn't look very promising. However, given that the company's ROE is similar to the average industry ROE of 6.8%, we may spare it some thought. Having said that, Urstadt Biddle Properties' five year net income decline rate was 12%. Remember, the company's ROE is a bit low to begin with. Hence, this goes some way in explaining the shrinking earnings.
However, when we compared Urstadt Biddle Properties' growth with the industry we found that while the company's earnings have been shrinking, the industry has seen an earnings growth of 8.6% in the same period. This is quite worrisome.
Earnings growth is a huge factor in stock valuation. 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. 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 Urstadt Biddle Properties is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.
Is Urstadt Biddle Properties Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?
Urstadt Biddle Properties has a very high three-year median payout ratio of 98%, implying that it retains only 2.1% of its profits. However, it's not unusual to see a REIT with such a high payout ratio mainly due to statutory requirements. Accordingly, this likely explains why its earnings have been shrinking.
In addition, Urstadt Biddle Properties has been paying dividends over a period of at least ten years suggesting that keeping up dividend payments is way more important to the management even if it comes at the cost of business growth. Existing analyst estimates suggest that the company's future payout ratio is expected to drop to 60% over the next three years. As a result, the expected drop in Urstadt Biddle Properties' payout ratio explains the anticipated rise in the company's future ROE to 14%, over the same period.
Overall, we would be extremely cautious before making any decision on Urstadt Biddle Properties. As a result of its low ROE and lack of much reinvestment into the business, the company has seen a disappointing earnings growth rate. With that said, we studied the latest analyst forecasts and found that while the company has shrunk its earnings in the past, analysts expect its earnings to grow in the future. 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.
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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.