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Apogee Enterprises, Inc.'s (NASDAQ:APOG) Stock Has Seen Strong Momentum: Does That Call For Deeper Study Of Its Financial Prospects?

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Apogee Enterprises' (NASDAQ:APOG) stock is up by a considerable 19% over the past three months. As most would know, fundamentals are what usually guide market price movements over the long-term, so we decided to look at the company's key financial indicators today to determine if they have any role to play in the recent price movement. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Apogee Enterprises' 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 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 Apogee Enterprises

How To Calculate Return On Equity?

The formula for return on equity is:

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

So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Apogee Enterprises is:

13% = US$70m ÷ US$547m (Based on the trailing twelve months to November 2020).

The 'return' is the amount earned after tax over the last twelve months. That means that for every $1 worth of shareholders' equity, the company generated $0.13 in profit.

What Is The Relationship Between ROE And Earnings Growth?

We have already established that ROE serves as an efficient profit-generating gauge for a company's future earnings. We now need to evaluate how much profit the company reinvests or "retains" for future growth which then gives us an idea about the growth potential of the company. 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.

Apogee Enterprises' Earnings Growth And 13% ROE

To begin with, Apogee Enterprises seems to have a respectable ROE. Be that as it may, the company's ROE is still quite lower than the industry average of 16%. Further research shows that Apogee Enterprises' net income has shrunk at a rate of 8.3% over the last five years. Not to forget, the company does have a high ROE to begin with, just that it is lower than the industry average. So there might be other reasons for the earnings to shrink. Such as, the company pays out a huge portion of its earnings as dividends, or is faced with competitive pressures.

However, when we compared Apogee Enterprises' growth with the industry we found that while the company's earnings have been shrinking, the industry has seen an earnings growth of 6.1% in the same period. This is quite worrisome.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. It’s important for an investor to know whether the market has priced in the company's expected earnings growth (or decline). Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. What is APOG worth today? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether APOG is currently mispriced by the market.

Is Apogee Enterprises Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

In spite of a normal three-year median payout ratio of 30% (that is, a retention ratio of 70%), the fact that Apogee Enterprises' earnings have shrunk is quite puzzling. So there might be other factors at play here which could potentially be hampering growth. For example, the business has faced some headwinds.

Additionally, Apogee Enterprises has paid dividends over a period of at least ten years, which means that the company's management is determined to pay dividends even if it means little to no earnings growth. 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 27%. Accordingly, forecasts suggest that Apogee Enterprises' future ROE will be 12% which is again, similar to the current ROE.

Conclusion

In total, it does look like Apogee Enterprises has some positive aspects to its business. However, while the company does have a decent ROE and a high profit retention, its earnings growth number is quite disappointing. This suggests that there might be some external threat to the business, that's hampering growth. Having said that, looking at current analyst estimates, we found that the company's earnings growth rate is expected to see a huge improvement. 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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