SmartCentres Real Estate Investment Trust (TSE:SRU.UN) Has Fared Decently But Fundamentals Look Uncertain: What Lies Ahead For The Stock?

  • In Business
  • 2021-10-25 14:21:09Z
  • By Simply Wall St.

Most readers would already know that SmartCentres Real Estate Investment Trust's (TSE:SRU.UN) stock increased by 4.1% over the past three months. Given that the stock prices usually follow long-term business performance, we wonder if the company's mixed financials could have any adverse effect on its current price price movement Particularly, we will be paying attention to SmartCentres Real Estate Investment Trust's ROE today.

Return on equity or ROE is a key measure used to assess how efficiently a company's management is utilizing the company's capital. In short, ROE shows the profit each dollar generates with respect to its shareholder investments.

See our latest analysis for SmartCentres Real Estate Investment Trust

How Do You Calculate Return On Equity?

ROE can be calculated by using the formula:

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

So, based on the above formula, the ROE for SmartCentres Real Estate Investment Trust is:

6.1% = CA$317m ÷ CA$5.2b (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2021).

The 'return' is the yearly profit. One way to conceptualize this is that for each CA$1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made CA$0.06 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.

SmartCentres Real Estate Investment Trust's Earnings Growth And 6.1% ROE

When you first look at it, SmartCentres Real Estate Investment Trust's ROE doesn't look that attractive. Next, when compared to the average industry ROE of 10.0%, the company's ROE leaves us feeling even less enthusiastic. Therefore, it might not be wrong to say that the five year net income decline of 13% seen by SmartCentres Real Estate Investment Trust was probably the result of it having a lower ROE. However, there could also be other factors causing the earnings to decline. Such as - low earnings retention or poor allocation of capital.

That being said, we compared SmartCentres Real Estate Investment Trust's performance with the industry and were concerned when we found that while the company has shrunk its earnings, the industry has grown its earnings at a rate of 16% in the same period.

Earnings growth is an important metric to consider when valuing a stock. It's important for an investor to know whether the market has priced in the company's expected earnings growth (or decline). This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. One good indicator of expected earnings growth is the P/E ratio which determines the price the market is willing to pay for a stock based on its earnings prospects. So, you may want to check if SmartCentres Real Estate Investment Trust is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.

Is SmartCentres Real Estate Investment Trust Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

Looking at its three-year median payout ratio of 50% (or a retention ratio of 50%) which is pretty normal, SmartCentres Real Estate Investment Trust's declining earnings is rather baffling as one would expect to see a fair bit of growth when a company is retaining a good portion of its profits. So there could be some other explanations in that regard. For instance, the company's business may be deteriorating.

In addition, SmartCentres Real Estate Investment Trust has been paying dividends over a period of at least ten years suggesting that keeping up dividend payments is way more important to the management even if it comes at the cost of business growth. Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company is expected to rise to 84% over the next three years.


In total, we're a bit ambivalent about SmartCentres Real Estate Investment Trust's performance. Even though it appears to be retaining most of its profits, given the low ROE, investors may not be benefitting from all that reinvestment after all. The low earnings growth suggests our theory correct. Wrapping up, we would proceed with caution with this company and one way of doing that would be to look at the risk profile of the business. To know the 3 risks we have identified for SmartCentres Real Estate Investment Trust visit our risks dashboard for free.

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.

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


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