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Regency Centers Corporation's (NASDAQ:REG) Stock Has Seen Strong Momentum: Does That Call For Deeper Study Of Its Financial Prospects?

Most readers would already be aware that Regency Centers' (NASDAQ:REG) stock increased significantly by 11% 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 study its financial indicators more closely to see if they had a hand to play in the recent price move. In this article, we decided to focus on Regency Centers' ROE.

Return on Equity or ROE is a test of how effectively a company is growing its value and managing investors’ money. Put another way, it reveals the company's success at turning shareholder investments into profits.

View our latest analysis for Regency Centers

How To Calculate Return On Equity?

Return on equity can be calculated by using the formula:

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

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So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Regency Centers is:

7.4% = US$461m ÷ US$6.2b (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2022).

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 $0.07 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. 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 Regency Centers' Earnings Growth And 7.4% ROE

When you first look at it, Regency Centers' ROE doesn't look that attractive. However, its ROE is similar to the industry average of 6.8%, so we won't completely dismiss the company. Having said that, Regency Centers has shown a modest net income growth of 15% over the past five years. Given the slightly low ROE, it is likely that there could be some other aspects that are driving this 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.

We then compared Regency Centers' net income growth with the industry and we're pleased to see that the company's growth figure is higher when compared with the industry which has a growth rate of 12% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

Earnings growth is an important metric to consider when valuing a stock. 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 REG worth today? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether REG is currently mispriced by the market.

Is Regency Centers Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

Regency Centers seems to be paying out most of its income as dividends judging by its three-year median payout ratio of 59%, meaning the company retains only 41% of its income. However, this is typical for REITs as they are often required by law to distribute most of their earnings. Despite this, the company's earnings grew moderately as we saw above.

Besides, Regency Centers has been paying dividends for at least ten years or more. This shows that the company is committed to sharing profits with its shareholders. Looking at the current analyst consensus data, we can see that the company's future payout ratio is expected to rise to 117% over the next three years. However, the company's ROE is not expected to change by much despite the higher expected payout ratio.

Conclusion

Overall, we feel that Regency Centers certainly does have some positive factors to consider. That is, quite an impressive growth in earnings. However, the low profit retention means that the company's earnings growth could have been higher, had it been reinvesting a higher portion of its profits. That being so, according to the latest industry analyst forecasts, the company's earnings are expected to shrink in the future. To know more about the latest analysts predictions for the company, check out this visualization of analyst forecasts for the company.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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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