Centene (NYSE:CNC) has had a rough three months with its share price down 15%. But if you pay close attention, you might find that its key financial indicators look quite decent, which could mean that the stock could potentially rise in the long-term given how markets usually reward more resilient long-term fundamentals. Specifically, we decided to study Centene's ROE in this article.
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 short, ROE shows the profit each dollar generates with respect to its shareholder investments.
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 Centene is:
7.9% = US$2.0b ÷ US$26b (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 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 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. 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 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.
Centene's Earnings Growth And 7.9% ROE
On the face of it, Centene's ROE is not much to talk about. A quick further study shows that the company's ROE doesn't compare favorably to the industry average of 13% either. However, the moderate 13% net income growth seen by Centene over the past five years is definitely a positive. So, there might be other aspects that are positively influencing the company's earnings growth. Such as - high earnings retention or an efficient management in place.
Next, on comparing Centene's net income growth with the industry, we found that the company's reported growth is similar to the industry average growth rate of 16% in the same period.
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). Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. Is Centene fairly valued compared to other companies? These 3 valuation measures might help you decide.
Is Centene Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?
Centene doesn't pay any dividend currently which essentially means that it has been reinvesting all of its profits into the business. This definitely contributes to the decent earnings growth number that we discussed above.
Overall, we feel that Centene certainly does have some positive factors to consider. With a high rate of reinvestment, albeit at a low ROE, the company has managed to see a considerable growth in its earnings. Having said that, looking at the current analyst estimates, we found that the company's earnings are expected to gain momentum. To know more about the latest analysts predictions for the company, check out this visualization of analyst forecasts 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.
Join A Paid User Research Session
You’ll receive a US$30 Amazon Gift card for 1 hour of your time while helping us build better investing tools for the individual investors like yourself. Sign up here