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Is Central Garden & Pet Company's (NASDAQ:CENT) Stock's Recent Performance Being Led By Its Attractive Financial Prospects?

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Central Garden & Pet's (NASDAQ:CENT) stock is up by a considerable 54% over the past three months. Since the market usually pay for a company’s long-term fundamentals, we decided to study the company’s key performance indicators to see if they could be influencing the market. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Central Garden & Pet's ROE today.

Return on equity or ROE is a key measure used to assess how efficiently a company's management is utilizing the company's capital. Put another way, it reveals the company's success at turning shareholder investments into profits.

See our latest analysis for Central Garden & Pet

How Do You Calculate Return On Equity?

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 Central Garden & Pet is:

12% = US$132m ÷ US$1.1b (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2020).

The 'return' is the yearly profit. Another way to think of that is that for every $1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn $0.12 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. 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.

Central Garden & Pet's Earnings Growth And 12% ROE

To start with, Central Garden & Pet's ROE looks acceptable. Be that as it may, the company's ROE is still quite lower than the industry average of 24%. Central Garden & Pet was still able to see a decent net income growth of 19% over the past five years. Therefore, the growth in earnings could probably have been caused by other variables. For instance, the company has a low payout ratio or is being managed efficiently. Bear in mind, the company does have a respectable level of ROE. It is just that the industry ROE is higher. So this also provides some context to the earnings growth seen by the company.

We then compared Central Garden & Pet's net income growth with the industry and we're pleased to see that the company's growth figure is higher when compared with the industry which has a growth rate of 11% in the same period.

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. Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. One good indicator of expected earnings growth is the P/E ratio which determines the price the market is willing to pay for a stock based on its earnings prospects. So, you may want to check if Central Garden & Pet is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.

Is Central Garden & Pet Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

Conclusion

On the whole, we feel that Central Garden & Pet's performance has been quite good. Specifically, we like that it has been reinvesting a high portion of its profits at a moderate rate of return, resulting in earnings expansion. If the company continues to grow its earnings the way it has, that could have a positive impact on its share price given how earnings per share influence long-term share prices. Remember, the price of a stock is also dependent on the perceived risk. Therefore investors must keep themselves informed about the risks involved before investing in any company. You can see the 2 risks we have identified for Central Garden & Pet by visiting our risks dashboard for free on our platform here.

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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