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With its stock down 11% over the past month, it is easy to disregard Astec Industries (NASDAQ:ASTE). We, however decided to study the company's financials to determine if they have got anything to do with the price decline. Long-term fundamentals are usually what drive market outcomes, so it's worth paying close attention. In this article, we decided to focus on Astec Industries' ROE.
Return on equity or ROE is an important factor to be considered by a shareholder because it tells them how effectively their capital is being reinvested. In other words, it is a profitability ratio which measures the rate of return on the capital provided by the company's shareholders.
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 Astec Industries is:
2.1% = US$14m ÷ US$657m (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2022).
The 'return' is the income the business earned over the last year. That means that for every $1 worth of shareholders' equity, the company generated $0.02 in profit.
What Has ROE Got To Do With Earnings Growth?
We have already established that ROE serves as an efficient profit-generating gauge for a company's future earnings. 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. 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.
Astec Industries' Earnings Growth And 2.1% ROE
It is hard to argue that Astec Industries' ROE is much good in and of itself. Not just that, even compared to the industry average of 12%, the company's ROE is entirely unremarkable. Therefore, Astec Industries' flat earnings over the past five years can possibly be explained by the low ROE amongst other factors.
We then compared Astec Industries' net income growth with the industry and found that the company's growth figure is lower than the average industry growth rate of 8.8% in the same period, which is a bit concerning.
Earnings growth is a huge factor in stock valuation. It’s important for an investor to know whether the market has priced in the company's expected earnings growth (or decline). By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. What is ASTE worth today? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether ASTE is currently mispriced by the market.
Is Astec Industries Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?
In spite of a normal three-year median payout ratio of 29% (or a retention ratio of 71%), Astec Industries hasn't seen much growth in its earnings. So there might be other factors at play here which could potentially be hampering growth. For example, the business has faced some headwinds.
Moreover, Astec Industries has been paying dividends for nine years, which is a considerable amount of time, suggesting that management must have perceived that the shareholders prefer dividends over earnings growth.
On the whole, we feel that the performance shown by Astec Industries can be open to many interpretations. 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. That being so, the latest analyst forecasts show that the company will continue to see an expansion in its earnings. 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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