With its stock down 11% over the past month, it is easy to disregard CareTrust REIT (NYSE:CTRE). It is possible that the markets have ignored the company’s differing financials and decided to lean-in to the negative sentiment. Long-term fundamentals are usually what drive market outcomes, so it’s worth paying close attention. Particularly, we will be paying attention to CareTrust REIT’s ROE today.
ROE or return on equity is a useful tool to assess how effectively a company can generate returns on the investment it received from its shareholders. In simpler terms, it measures the profitability of a company in relation to shareholder’s equity.
Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders’ Equity
So, based on the above formula, the ROE for CareTrust REIT is:
0.9% = US$7.6m ÷ US$838m (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2022).
The ‘return’ is the profit over the last twelve months. One way to conceptualize this is that for each $1 of shareholders’ capital it has, the company made $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. Depending on how much of these profits the company reinvests or “retains”, and how effectively it does so, we are then able to assess a company’s earnings growth potential. 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.
CareTrust REIT’s Earnings Growth And 0.9% ROE
It is quite clear that CareTrust REIT’s ROE is rather low. Even compared to the average industry ROE of 6.6%, the company’s ROE is quite dismal. However, the moderate 8.6% net income growth seen by CareTrust REIT over the past five years is definitely a positive. Therefore, the growth in earnings could probably have been caused by other variables. For example, it is possible that the company’s management has made some good strategic decisions, or that the company has a low payout ratio.
We then compared CareTrust REIT’s net income growth with the industry and found that the company’s growth figure is lower than the average industry growth rate of 11% in the same period, which is a bit concerning.
Earnings growth is a huge factor in stock valuation. What investors need to determine next is if the expected earnings growth, or the lack of it, is already built into the share price. 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 CareTrust REIT is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.
Is CareTrust REIT Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?
CareTrust REIT 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. In spite of this, the company was able to grow its earnings by a fair bit, as we saw above.
Moreover, CareTrust REIT is determined to keep sharing its profits with shareholders which we infer from its long history of eight years of paying a dividend. Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company over the next three years is expected to be approximately 65%.
In total, we’re a bit ambivalent about CareTrust REIT’s performance. While no doubt its earnings growth is pretty respectable, the low profit retention could mean that the company’s earnings growth could have been higher, had it been paying reinvesting a higher portion of its profits. An improvement in its ROE could also help future earnings growth. Having said that, looking at the current analyst estimates, we found that the company’s earnings are expected to gain momentum. 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.
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