Community Healthcare Trust's (NYSE:CHCT) stock is up by a considerable 5.5% over the past month. However, we decided to pay attention to the company's fundamentals which don't appear to give a clear sign about the company's financial health. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Community Healthcare 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 To Calculate Return On Equity?
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 Community Healthcare Trust is:
4.4% = US$19m ÷ US$430m (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2020).
The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. That means that for every $1 worth of shareholders' equity, the company generated $0.04 in profit.
What Has ROE Got To Do With Earnings Growth?
So far, we've learned that ROE is a measure of a company's profitability. 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 Community Healthcare Trust's Earnings Growth And 4.4% ROE
On the face of it, Community Healthcare Trust's ROE is not much to talk about. However, its ROE is similar to the industry average of 5.0%, so we won't completely dismiss the company. Particularly, the exceptional 50% net income growth seen by Community Healthcare Trust over the past five years is pretty remarkable. Given the slightly low ROE, it is likely that there could be some other aspects that are driving this growth. For instance, the company has a low payout ratio or is being managed efficiently.
As a next step, we compared Community Healthcare Trust's net income growth with the industry, and pleasingly, we found that the growth seen by the company is higher than the average industry growth of 11%.
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. If you're wondering about Community Healthcare Trust's's valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.
Is Community Healthcare Trust Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?
Community Healthcare Trust's very high three-year median payout ratio of 106% suggests that the company is paying more to its shareholders than what it is earning. However, this hasn't hampered its ability to grow as we saw earlier. Having said that, the high payout ratio is definitely risky and something to keep an eye on. You can see the 3 risks we have identified for Community Healthcare Trust by visiting our risks dashboard for free on our platform here.
Besides, Community Healthcare Trust has been paying dividends over a period of six years. This shows that the company is committed to sharing profits with its shareholders. Existing analyst estimates suggest that the company's future payout ratio is expected to drop to 66% over the next three years.
Overall, we have mixed feelings about Community Healthcare Trust. While no doubt its earnings growth is pretty substantial, its ROE and earnings retention is quite poor. So while the company has managed to grow its earnings in spite of this, we are unconvinced if this growth could extend, especially during troubled times. With that said, the latest industry analyst forecasts reveal that the company's earnings growth is expected to slow down. To know more about the company's future earnings growth forecasts take a look at this free report on analyst forecasts for the company to find out more.
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