Should Weakness in Easterly Government Properties, Inc.'s (NYSE:DEA) Stock Be Seen As A Sign That Market Will Correct The Share Price Given Decent Financials?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
April 29, 2021
NYSE:DEA
Source: Shutterstock

Easterly Government Properties (NYSE:DEA) has had a rough three months with its share price down 4.9%. 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 Easterly Government Properties' ROE in this article.

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.

View our latest analysis for Easterly Government Properties

How Is ROE Calculated?

The formula for ROE is:

Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders' Equity

So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Easterly Government Properties is:

1.0% = US$14m ÷ US$1.3b (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2020).

The 'return' is the income the business earned over the last year. That means that for every $1 worth of shareholders' equity, the company generated $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.

A Side By Side comparison of Easterly Government Properties' Earnings Growth And 1.0% ROE

As you can see, Easterly Government Properties' ROE looks pretty weak. Even compared to the average industry ROE of 5.0%, the company's ROE is quite dismal. However, we we're pleasantly surprised to see that Easterly Government Properties grew its net income at a significant rate of 33% in the last five years. We reckon that there could be other factors at play here. 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.

Next, on comparing with the industry net income growth, we found that Easterly Government Properties' growth is quite high when compared to the industry average growth of 10% in the same period, which is great to see.

past-earnings-growth
NYSE:DEA Past Earnings Growth April 29th 2021

Earnings growth is a huge factor in stock valuation. 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 DEA worth today? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether DEA is currently mispriced by the market.

Is Easterly Government Properties Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

Easterly Government Properties has a very high three-year median payout ratio of 75%. This means that it has only 25% of its income left to reinvest into its business. However, it's not unusual to see a REIT with such a high payout ratio mainly due to statutory requirements. Despite this, the company's earnings have grown significantly as we saw above.

Besides, Easterly Government Properties has been paying dividends over a period of six years. This shows that the company is committed to sharing profits with its shareholders. Based on the latest analysts' estimates, we found that the company's future payout ratio over the next three years is expected to hold steady at 81%.

Conclusion

On the whole, we do feel that Easterly Government Properties 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. That being so, a study of the latest analyst forecasts show that the company is expected to see a slowdown in its future earnings growth. 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. 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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