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Mid-America Apartment Communities, Inc.'s (NYSE:MAA) Fundamentals Look Pretty Strong: Could The Market Be Wrong About The Stock?

It is hard to get excited after looking at Mid-America Apartment Communities' (NYSE:MAA) recent performance, when its stock has declined 7.1% over the past three months. However, a closer look at its sound financials might cause you to think again. Given that fundamentals usually drive long-term market outcomes, the company is worth looking at. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Mid-America Apartment Communities' 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 simpler terms, it measures the profitability of a company in relation to shareholder's equity.

View our latest analysis for Mid-America Apartment Communities

How To Calculate Return On Equity?

The formula for ROE is:

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

So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Mid-America Apartment Communities is:

11% = US$647m ÷ US$6.2b (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2022).

The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. One way to conceptualize this is that for each $1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made $0.11 in profit.

Why Is ROE Important For Earnings Growth?

We have already established that ROE serves as an efficient profit-generating gauge for a company's future earnings. 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 everything else remains unchanged, the higher the ROE and profit retention, the higher the growth rate of a company compared to companies that don't necessarily bear these characteristics.

Mid-America Apartment Communities' Earnings Growth And 11% ROE

To start with, Mid-America Apartment Communities' ROE looks acceptable. On comparing with the average industry ROE of 6.9% the company's ROE looks pretty remarkable. Probably as a result of this, Mid-America Apartment Communities was able to see a decent growth of 17% over the last five years.

As a next step, we compared Mid-America Apartment Communities' 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 12%.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

Earnings growth is a huge factor in stock valuation. The investor should try to establish if the expected growth or decline in earnings, whichever the case may be, is priced in. By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. What is MAA worth today? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether MAA is currently mispriced by the market.

Is Mid-America Apartment Communities Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

Mid-America Apartment Communities seems to be paying out most of its income as dividends judging by its three-year median payout ratio of 58%, meaning the company retains only 42% of its income. However, this is typical for REITs as they are often required by law to distribute most of their earnings. In spite of this, the company was able to grow its earnings by a fair bit, as we saw above.

Besides, Mid-America Apartment Communities has been paying dividends for at least ten years or more. This shows that the company is committed to sharing profits with its shareholders. Upon studying the latest analysts' consensus data, we found that the company is expected to keep paying out approximately 57% of its profits over the next three years. Therefore, the company's future ROE is also not expected to change by much with analysts predicting an ROE of 10%.

Summary

On the whole, we feel that Mid-America Apartment Communities' performance has been quite good. We are particularly impressed by the considerable earnings growth posted by the company, which was likely backed by its high ROE. While the company is paying out most of its earnings as dividends, it has been able to grow its earnings in spite of it, so that's probably a good sign. That being so, a study of the latest analyst forecasts show that the company is expected to see a slowdown in its future earnings growth. To know more about the company's future earnings growth forecasts take a look at this free report on analyst forecasts for the company to find out more.

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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