Declining Stock and Decent Financials: Is The Market Wrong About Sun Communities, Inc. (NYSE:SUI)?

Sun Communities (NYSE:SUI) has had a rough three months with its share price down 18%. But if you pay close attention, you might find that its key financial indicators look quite decent, which could mean that the stock could potentially rise in the long-term given how markets usually reward more resilient long-term fundamentals. Specifically, we decided to study Sun Communities’ 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. Put another way, it reveals the company’s success at turning shareholder investments into profits.

View our latest analysis for Sun Communities

How Is ROE Calculated?

Return on equity 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 Sun Communities is:

3.5% = US$275m ÷ US$7.9b (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2022).

The ‘return’ is the amount earned after tax over the last twelve months. One way to conceptualize this is that for each $1 of shareholders’ capital it has, the company made $0.03 in profit.

Why Is ROE Important For Earnings Growth?

We have already established that ROE serves as an efficient profit-generating gauge for a company’s future earnings. 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.

Sun Communities’ Earnings Growth And 3.5% ROE

As you can see, Sun Communities’ ROE looks pretty weak. Even when compared to the industry average of 6.6%, the ROE figure is pretty disappointing. Despite this, surprisingly, Sun Communities 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.

We then compared Sun Communities’ net income growth with the industry and we’re pleased to see that the company’s growth figure is higher when compared with the industry which has a growth rate of 11% in the same period.

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. What is SUI worth today? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether SUI is currently mispriced by the market.

Is Sun Communities Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

Sun Communities seems to be paying out most of its income as dividends judging by its three-year median payout ratio of 62%, meaning the company retains only 38% of its income. However, this is typical for REITs as they are often required by law to distribute most of their earnings. Regardless, this hasn’t hampered its ability to grow as we saw earlier.

Additionally, Sun Communities has paid dividends over a period of at least ten years which means that the company is pretty serious about sharing its profits with shareholders. Upon studying the latest analysts’ consensus data, we found that the company is expected to keep paying out approximately 53% of its profits over the next three years. Regardless, the future ROE for Sun Communities is predicted to rise to 4.7% despite there being not much change expected in its payout ratio.

Conclusion

On the whole, we do feel that Sun Communities has some positive attributes. Namely, its high earnings growth. We do however feel that the earnings growth number could have been even higher, had the company been reinvesting more of its earnings and paid out less dividends. We also studied the latest analyst forecasts and found that the company’s earnings growth is expected be similar to its current 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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