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Has Crane Co.'s (NYSE:CR) Impressive Stock Performance Got Anything to Do With Its Fundamentals?

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Crane's (NYSE:CR) stock is up by a considerable 11% over the past month. Given that stock prices are usually aligned with a company's financial performance in the long-term, we decided to study its financial indicators more closely to see if they had a hand to play in the recent price move. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Crane's ROE today.

Return on equity or ROE is an important factor to be considered by a shareholder because it tells them how effectively their capital is being reinvested. Simply put, it is used to assess the profitability of a company in relation to its equity capital.

View our latest analysis for Crane

How Is ROE Calculated?

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 Crane is:

19% = US$324m ÷ US$1.7b (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2021).

The 'return' is the income the business earned over the last year. So, this means that for every $1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of $0.19.

What Is The Relationship Between ROE And Earnings Growth?

Thus far, we have learned that ROE measures how efficiently a company is generating its profits. 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.

A Side By Side comparison of Crane's Earnings Growth And 19% ROE

At first glance, Crane seems to have a decent ROE. On comparing with the average industry ROE of 11% the company's ROE looks pretty remarkable. Given the circumstances, we can't help but wonder why Crane saw little to no growth in the past five years. Therefore, there could be some other aspects that could potentially be preventing the company from growing. For example, it could be that the company has a high payout ratio or the business has allocated capital poorly, for instance.

Next, on comparing with the industry net income growth, we found that Crane's reported growth was lower than the industry growth of 8.1% in the same period, which is not something we like 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. By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. Has the market priced in the future outlook for CR? You can find out in our latest intrinsic value infographic research report.

Is Crane Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

Despite having a moderate three-year median payout ratio of 43% (meaning the company retains57% of profits) in the last three-year period, Crane's earnings growth was more or les flat. Therefore, there might be some other reasons to explain the lack in that respect. For example, the business could be in decline.

Additionally, Crane 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. Existing analyst estimates suggest that the company's future payout ratio is expected to drop to 22% over the next three years. Regardless, the ROE is not expected to change much for the company despite the lower expected payout ratio.

Conclusion

In total, it does look like Crane has some positive aspects to its business. However, given the high ROE and high profit retention, we would expect the company to be delivering strong earnings growth, but that isn't the case here. This suggests that there might be some external threat to the business, that's hampering its growth. With that said, the latest industry analyst forecasts reveal that the company's earnings are expected to accelerate. 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. 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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