Why Rexford Industrial Realty Inc’s (NYSE:REXR) ROE Of 3.57% Does Not Tell The Whole Story

I am writing today to help inform people who are new to the stock market and want to better understand how you can grow your money by investing in Rexford Industrial Realty Inc (NYSE:REXR).

Rexford Industrial Realty Inc (NYSE:REXR) generated a below-average return on equity of 3.57% in the past 12 months, while its industry returned 7.65%. Though REXR’s recent performance is underwhelming, it is useful to understand what ROE is made up of and how it should be interpreted. Knowing these components can change your views on REXR’s below-average returns. I will take you through how metrics such as financial leverage impact ROE which may affect the overall sustainability of REXR’s returns. Check out our latest analysis for Rexford Industrial Realty

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 seeking to maximise their return in the Industrial REITs industry may want to choose 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

Returns are usually compared to costs to measure the efficiency of capital. Rexford Industrial Realty’s cost of equity is 8.59%. Given a discrepancy of -5.02% between return and cost, this indicated that Rexford Industrial Realty may be paying more for its capital than what it’s generating in return. ROE can be split up into three useful 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:REXR Last Perf June 8th 18
NYSE:REXR Last Perf June 8th 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 shows how much revenue Rexford Industrial Realty can generate with its current 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. ROE can be inflated by disproportionately high levels of debt. This is also unsustainable due to the high interest cost that the company will also incur. Thus, we should look at Rexford Industrial Realty’s debt-to-equity ratio to examine sustainability of its returns. The ratio currently stands at a sensible 46.17%, meaning Rexford Industrial Realty has not taken on excessive debt to drive its returns. The company is able to produce profit growth without a huge debt burden and still has headroom to grow returns to industry average.

NYSE:REXR Historical Debt June 8th 18
NYSE:REXR Historical Debt June 8th 18

Next Steps:

While ROE is a relatively simple calculation, it can be broken down into different ratios, each telling a different story about the strengths and weaknesses of a company. Rexford Industrial Realty’s ROE is underwhelming relative to the industry average, and its returns were also not strong enough to cover its own cost of equity. Although, its appropriate level of leverage means investors can be more confident in the sustainability of Rexford Industrial Realty’s return with a possible increase should the company decide to increase its debt levels. Although ROE can be a useful metric, it is only a small part of diligent research.

For Rexford Industrial Realty, there are three important 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 Rexford Industrial Realty 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 Rexford Industrial Realty is currently mispriced by the market.
  3. Other High-Growth Alternatives : Are there other high-growth stocks you could be holding instead of Rexford Industrial Realty? Explore our interactive list of stocks with large growth potential to get an idea of what else is out there you may be missing!