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Are Becton, Dickinson and Company's (NYSE:BDX) Fundamentals Good Enough to Warrant Buying Given The Stock's Recent Weakness?

Becton Dickinson (NYSE:BDX) has had a rough month with its share price down 10%. However, the company's fundamentals look pretty decent, and long-term financials are usually aligned with future market price movements. In this article, we decided to focus on Becton Dickinson's ROE.

ROE or return on equity is a useful tool to assess how effectively a company can generate returns on the investment it received from its shareholders. Simply put, it is used to assess the profitability of a company in relation to its equity capital.

View our latest analysis for Becton Dickinson

How Do You 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 Becton Dickinson is:

7.8% = US$2.0b ÷ US$25b (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2022).

The 'return' is the amount earned after tax over the last twelve months. Another way to think of that is that for every $1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn $0.08 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. 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.

Becton Dickinson's Earnings Growth And 7.8% ROE

At first glance, Becton Dickinson's ROE doesn't look very promising. Next, when compared to the average industry ROE of 11%, the company's ROE leaves us feeling even less enthusiastic. Despite this, surprisingly, Becton Dickinson saw an exceptional 29% net income growth over the past five years. We reckon that there could be other factors at play here. For example, it is possible that the company's management has made some good strategic decisions, or that the company has a low payout ratio.

Next, on comparing with the industry net income growth, we found that Becton Dickinson's growth is quite high when compared to the industry average growth of 19% in the same period, which is great to see.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

Earnings growth is an important metric to consider when valuing a stock. What investors need to determine next is if the expected earnings growth, or the lack of it, is already built into the share price. This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. Is BDX fairly valued? This infographic on the company's intrinsic value has everything you need to know.

Is Becton Dickinson Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

Becton Dickinson has a significant three-year median payout ratio of 68%, meaning the company only retains 32% of its income. This implies that the company has been able to achieve high earnings growth despite returning most of its profits to shareholders.

Additionally, Becton Dickinson 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. Upon studying the latest analysts' consensus data, we found that the company's future payout ratio is expected to drop to 29% over the next three years. The fact that the company's ROE is expected to rise to 15% over the same period is explained by the drop in the payout ratio.

Summary

In total, it does look like Becton Dickinson has some positive aspects to its business. While no doubt its earnings growth is pretty substantial, we do feel that the reinvestment rate is pretty low, meaning, the earnings growth number could have been significantly higher had the company been retaining more of its profits. With that said, the latest industry analyst forecasts reveal that the company's earnings growth is expected to slow down. 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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