Civitas Social Housing PLC's (LON:CSH) Has Had A Decent Run On The Stock market: Are Fundamentals In The Driver's Seat?

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Most readers would already know that Civitas Social Housing’s (LON:CSH) stock increased by 2.7% over the past three months. Given that stock prices are usually aligned with a company’s financial performance in the long-term, we decided to investigate if the company’s decent financials had a hand to play in the recent price move. In this article, we decided to focus on Civitas Social Housing’s ROE.

Return on Equity or ROE is a test of how effectively a company is growing its value and managing investors’ money. 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 Civitas Social Housing

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 Civitas Social Housing is:

5.6% = UK£38m ÷ UK£671m (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2020).

The ‘return’ is the yearly profit. So, this means that for every £1 of its shareholder’s investments, the company generates a profit of £0.06.

What Is The Relationship Between ROE And Earnings Growth?

So far, we’ve learned that ROE is a measure of a company’s profitability. 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. Generally speaking, other things being equal, firms with a high return on equity and profit retention, have a higher growth rate than firms that don’t share these attributes.

Civitas Social Housing’s Earnings Growth And 5.6% ROE

At first glance, Civitas Social Housing’s ROE doesn’t look very promising. However, its ROE is similar to the industry average of 5.7%, so we won’t completely dismiss the company. Particularly, the exceptional 33% net income growth seen by Civitas Social Housing over the past five years is pretty remarkable. Considering the moderately low ROE, it is quite possible that there might be some other aspects that are positively influencing the company’s earnings growth. 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.

As a next step, we compared Civitas Social Housing’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 10%.

past-earnings-growth

The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. What investors need to determine next is if the expected earnings growth, or the lack of it, is already built into the share price. This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. What is CSH worth today? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether CSH is currently mispriced by the market.

Is Civitas Social Housing Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

Civitas Social Housing has a very high three-year median payout ratio of 99%. This means that it has only 1.2% 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.

Moreover, Civitas Social Housing is determined to keep sharing its profits with shareholders which we infer from its long history of three years of paying a dividend. 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 94%. Accordingly, forecasts suggest that Civitas Social Housing’s future ROE will be 5.3% which is again, similar to the current ROE.

Conclusion

In total, it does look like Civitas Social Housing has some positive aspects to its business. While no doubt its earnings growth is pretty substantial, we do feel that the reinvestment rate is pretty low, meaning, the earnings growth number could have been significantly higher had the company been retaining more of its profits. Having said that, the company’s earnings growth is expected to slow down, as forecasted in the current analyst estimates. To know more about the latest analysts predictions for the company, check out this visualization of analyst forecasts for the company.

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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