Did LTC Properties Inc (NYSE:LTC) Create Value For Shareholders?

This analysis is intended to introduce important early concepts to people who are starting to invest and want a simplistic look at the return on LTC Properties Inc (NYSE:LTC) stock.

With an ROE of 11.39%, LTC Properties Inc (NYSE:LTC) outpaced its own industry which delivered a less exciting 7.62% over the past year. Though, the impressiveness of LTC’s ROE is contingent on whether this industry-beating level can be sustained. Sustainability can be gauged by a company’s financial leverage – the more debt it has, the higher ROE is pumped up in the short term, at the expense of long term interest payment burden. Let me show you what I mean by this. Check out our latest analysis for LTC Properties

Peeling the layers of ROE – trisecting a company’s profitability

Firstly, Return on Equity, or ROE, is simply the percentage of last years’ earning against the book value of shareholders’ equity. It essentially shows how much the company can generate in earnings given the amount of equity it has raised. Investors that are diversifying their portfolio based on industry may want to maximise their return in the Healthcare REITs sector by choosing the highest returning stock. However, this can be deceiving as each company has varying costs of equity and debt levels, which could exaggeratedly push up ROE at the same time as accumulating high interest expense.

Return on Equity = Net Profit ÷ Shareholders Equity

ROE is assessed against cost of equity, which is measured using the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) – but let’s not dive into the details of that today. For now, let’s just look at the cost of equity number for LTC Properties, which is 8.59%. Since LTC Properties’s return covers its cost in excess of 2.80%, its use of equity capital is efficient and likely to be sustainable. Simply put, LTC Properties pays less for its capital than what it generates in return. ROE can be broken down into three different ratios: net profit margin, asset turnover, and financial leverage. This is called the Dupont Formula:

Dupont Formula

ROE = profit margin × asset turnover × financial leverage

ROE = (annual net profit ÷ sales) × (sales ÷ assets) × (assets ÷ shareholders’ equity)

ROE = annual net profit ÷ shareholders’ equity

NYSE:LTC Last Perf June 25th 18
NYSE:LTC Last Perf June 25th 18

Basically, profit margin measures how much of revenue trickles down into earnings which illustrates how efficient the business is with its cost management. Asset turnover reveals how much revenue can be generated from LTC Properties’s asset base. And finally, financial leverage is simply how much of assets are funded by equity, which exhibits how sustainable the company’s capital structure is. We can assess whether LTC Properties is fuelling ROE by excessively raising debt. Ideally, LTC Properties should have a balanced capital structure, which we can check by looking at the historic debt-to-equity ratio of the company. The ratio currently stands at a balanced 90.82%, meaning LTC Properties has not taken on excessively disproportionate debt to drive its returns. The company is able to produce profit growth without a substantial debt burden.

NYSE:LTC Historical Debt June 25th 18
NYSE:LTC Historical Debt June 25th 18

Next Steps:

ROE is one of many ratios which meaningfully dissects financial statements, which illustrates the quality of a company. LTC Properties exhibits a strong ROE against its peers, as well as sufficient returns to cover its cost of equity. Its high ROE is not likely to be driven by high debt. Therefore, investors may have more confidence in the sustainability of this level of returns going forward. Although ROE can be a useful metric, it is only a small part of diligent research.

For LTC Properties, I’ve compiled three essential aspects you should further research:

  1. Financial Health: Does it have a healthy balance sheet? Take a look at our free balance sheet analysis with six simple checks on key factors like leverage and risk.
  2. Valuation: What is LTC Properties worth today? Is the stock undervalued, even when its growth outlook is factored into its intrinsic value? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether LTC Properties is currently mispriced by the market.
  3. Other High-Growth Alternatives : Are there other high-growth stocks you could be holding instead of LTC Properties? Explore our interactive list of stocks with large growth potential to get an idea of what else is out there you may be missing!