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Cabot Oil & Gas' (NYSE:COG) stock is up by 7.1% over the past three months. Given its impressive performance, we decided to study the company's key financial indicators as a company's long-term fundamentals usually dictate market outcomes. In this article, we decided to focus on Cabot Oil & Gas' 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. In other words, it is a profitability ratio which measures the rate of return on the capital provided by the company's shareholders.
How Do You 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 Cabot Oil & Gas is:
15% = US$322m ÷ US$2.2b (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2020).
The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. That means that for every $1 worth of shareholders' equity, the company generated $0.15 in profit.
What Is The Relationship Between ROE And Earnings Growth?
So far, we've learned that ROE is a measure of a company's profitability. 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.
A Side By Side comparison of Cabot Oil & Gas' Earnings Growth And 15% ROE
To begin with, Cabot Oil & Gas seems to have a respectable ROE. Even when compared to the industry average of 14% the company's ROE looks quite decent. This probably goes some way in explaining Cabot Oil & Gas' significant 64% net income growth over the past five years amongst other factors. We reckon that there could also 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.
As a next step, we compared Cabot Oil & Gas' 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 3.7%.
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. Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. Is COG fairly valued? This infographic on the company's intrinsic value has everything you need to know.
Is Cabot Oil & Gas Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?
Cabot Oil & Gas' ' three-year median payout ratio is on the lower side at 21% implying that it is retaining a higher percentage (79%) of its profits. So it seems like the management is reinvesting profits heavily to grow its business and this reflects in its earnings growth number.
Moreover, Cabot Oil & Gas is determined to keep sharing its profits with shareholders which we infer from its long history of paying a dividend for at least ten years. Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company over the next three years is expected to be approximately 21%. However, Cabot Oil & Gas' ROE is predicted to rise to 19% despite there being no anticipated change in its payout ratio.
Overall, we are quite pleased with Cabot Oil & Gas' performance. In particular, it's great to see that the company is investing heavily into its business and along with a high rate of return, that has resulted in a sizeable growth in its earnings. Having said that, the company's earnings growth is expected to slow down, as forecasted in the current analyst estimates. 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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