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Are Cal-Maine Foods, Inc.'s (NASDAQ:CALM) Mixed Financials The Reason For Its Gloomy Performance on The Stock Market?

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·4 min read
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  • CALM

Cal-Maine Foods (NASDAQ:CALM) has had a rough month with its share price down 5.1%. It seems that the market might have completely ignored the positive aspects of the company's fundamentals and decided to weigh-in more on the negative aspects. Long-term fundamentals are usually what drive market outcomes, so it's worth paying close attention. In this article, we decided to focus on Cal-Maine Foods' 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.

See our latest analysis for Cal-Maine Foods

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 Cal-Maine Foods is:

6.6% = US$67m ÷ US$1.0b (Based on the trailing twelve months to February 2021).

The 'return' is the income the business earned over the last year. Another way to think of that is that for every $1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn $0.07 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. 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.

Cal-Maine Foods' Earnings Growth And 6.6% ROE

On the face of it, Cal-Maine Foods' ROE is not much to talk about. We then compared the company's ROE to the broader industry and were disappointed to see that the ROE is lower than the industry average of 11%. For this reason, Cal-Maine Foods' five year net income decline of 26% is not surprising given its lower ROE. However, there could also be other factors causing the earnings to decline. For example, it is possible that the business has allocated capital poorly or that the company has a very high payout ratio.

As a next step, we compared Cal-Maine Foods' performance with the industry and found thatCal-Maine Foods' performance is depressing even when compared with the industry, which has shrunk its earnings at a rate of 2.7% in the same period, which is a slower than the company.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

Earnings growth is an important metric to consider when valuing a stock. The investor should try to establish if the expected growth or decline in earnings, whichever the case may be, is priced in. This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. If you're wondering about Cal-Maine Foods''s valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.

Is Cal-Maine Foods Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

When we piece together Cal-Maine Foods' low three-year median payout ratio of 13% (where it is retaining 87% of its profits), calculated for the last three-year period, we are puzzled by the lack of growth. The low payout should mean that the company is retaining most of its earnings and consequently, should see some growth. So there might be other factors at play here which could potentially be hampering growth. For instance, the business has faced some headwinds.

Additionally, Cal-Maine Foods 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.

Summary

On the whole, we feel that the performance shown by Cal-Maine Foods can be open to many interpretations. While the company does have a high rate of profit retention, its low rate of return is probably hampering its earnings growth. That being so, the latest industry analyst forecasts show that the analysts are expecting to see a huge improvement in the company's earnings growth rate. 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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