Camden Property Trust (NYSE:CPT) has had a rough month with its share price down 16%. We, however decided to study the company's financials to determine if they have got anything to do with the price decline. Fundamentals usually dictate market outcomes so it makes sense to study the company's financials. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Camden Property Trust'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 other words, it is a profitability ratio which measures the rate of return on the capital provided by the company's shareholders.
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 Camden Property Trust is:
8.5% = US$364m ÷ US$4.3b (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2022).
The 'return' is the profit over the last twelve months. Another way to think of that is that for every $1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn $0.08 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. 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 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.
Camden Property Trust's Earnings Growth And 8.5% ROE
When you first look at it, Camden Property Trust's ROE doesn't look that attractive. Although a closer study shows that the company's ROE is higher than the industry average of 6.5% which we definitely can't overlook. But then again, seeing that Camden Property Trust's net income shrunk at a rate of 7.6% in the past five years, makes us think again. Bear in mind, the company does have a slightly low ROE. It is just that the industry ROE is lower. So that could be one of the factors that are causing earnings growth to shrink.
However, when we compared Camden Property Trust's growth with the industry we found that while the company's earnings have been shrinking, the industry has seen an earnings growth of 11% in the same period. This is quite worrisome.
The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. The investor should try to establish if the expected growth or decline in earnings, whichever the case may be, is priced in. This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. What is CPT worth today? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether CPT is currently mispriced by the market.
Is Camden Property Trust Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?
Camden Property Trust has a very high three-year median payout ratio of 64%, implying that it retains only 36% of its profits. However, it's not unusual to see a REIT with such a high payout ratio mainly due to statutory requirements. So this probably explains the company's shrinking earnings.
In addition, Camden Property Trust 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. Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company over the next three years is expected to be approximately 56%. Still, forecasts suggest that Camden Property Trust's future ROE will drop to 4.7% even though the the company's payout ratio is not expected to change by much.
Overall, we have mixed feelings about Camden Property Trust. Primarily, we are disappointed to see a lack of growth in earnings even in spite of a moderate ROE. Bear in mind, the company reinvests a small portion of its profits, which explains the lack of growth. 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. To know more about the latest analysts predictions for the company, check out this visualization of analyst forecasts for the company.
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