# W. P. Carey Inc.'s (NYSE:WPC) Stock On An Uptrend: Could Fundamentals Be Driving The Momentum?

Most readers would already be aware that W. P. Carey's (NYSE:WPC) stock increased significantly by 14% 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 W. P. Carey's ROE.

Return on equity or ROE is a key measure used to assess how efficiently a company's management is utilizing the company's capital. Simply put, it is used to assess the profitability of a company in relation to its equity capital.

See our latest analysis for W. P. Carey

## How Is ROE Calculated?

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 W. P. Carey is:

5.5% = US\$489m ÷ US\$8.8b (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2022).

The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. So, this means that for every \$1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of \$0.06.

## Why Is ROE Important For Earnings Growth?

So far, we've learned that ROE is a measure of a company's profitability. Based on how much of its profits the company chooses to reinvest or "retain", we are then able to evaluate a company's future ability to generate profits. 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.

## A Side By Side comparison of W. P. Carey's Earnings Growth And 5.5% ROE

When you first look at it, W. P. Carey's ROE doesn't look that attractive. Yet, a closer study shows that the company's ROE is similar to the industry average of 6.8%. On the other hand, W. P. Carey reported a moderate 12% net income growth over the past five years. 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. Such as - high earnings retention or an efficient management in place.

We then performed a comparison between W. P. Carey's net income growth with the industry, which revealed that the company's growth is similar to the average industry growth of 12% in the same period.

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. Has the market priced in the future outlook for WPC? You can find out in our latest intrinsic value infographic research report.

## Is W. P. Carey Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

W. P. Carey seems to be paying out most of its income as dividends judging by its three-year median payout ratio of 84%, meaning the company retains only 16% 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.

Additionally, W. P. Carey has paid dividends over a period of at least ten years which means that the company is pretty serious about sharing its profits with shareholders.

## Conclusion

On the whole, we do feel that W. P. Carey has some positive attributes. Namely, its high earnings growth. We do however feel that the earnings growth number could have been even higher, had the company been reinvesting more of its earnings and paid out less dividends. The latest industry analyst forecasts show that the company is expected to maintain its current growth rate. Are these analysts expectations based on the broad expectations for the industry, or on the company's fundamentals? Click here to be taken to our analyst's forecasts page 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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