Declining Stock and Decent Financials: Is The Market Wrong About Assurant, Inc. (NYSE:AIZ)?
It is hard to get excited after looking at Assurant's (NYSE:AIZ) recent performance, when its stock has declined 18% over the past three months. However, the company's fundamentals look pretty decent, and long-term financials are usually aligned with future market price movements. In this article, we decided to focus on Assurant's 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. Simply put, it is used to assess the profitability of a company in relation to its equity capital.
View our latest analysis for Assurant
How Is ROE Calculated?
Return on equity 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 Assurant is:
8.4% = US$343m ÷ US$4.1b (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2022).
The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. Another way to think of that is that for every $1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn $0.08 in profit.
Why Is ROE Important For Earnings Growth?
Thus far, we have learned that ROE measures how efficiently a company is generating its profits. 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. 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.
Assurant's Earnings Growth And 8.4% ROE
On the face of it, Assurant's ROE is not much to talk about. Next, when compared to the average industry ROE of 13%, the company's ROE leaves us feeling even less enthusiastic. Assurant was still able to see a decent net income growth of 8.1% over the past five years. So, the growth in the company's earnings could probably have been caused by other variables. For instance, the company has a low payout ratio or is being managed efficiently.
We then compared Assurant's net income growth with the industry and found that the company's growth figure is lower than the average industry growth rate of 13% in the same period, which is a bit concerning.
The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. 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. Has the market priced in the future outlook for AIZ? You can find out in our latest intrinsic value infographic research report.
Is Assurant Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?
With a three-year median payout ratio of 31% (implying that the company retains 69% of its profits), it seems that Assurant is reinvesting efficiently in a way that it sees respectable amount growth in its earnings and pays a dividend that's well covered.
Moreover, Assurant 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. Upon studying the latest analysts' consensus data, we found that the company's future payout ratio is expected to drop to 21% over the next three years. Accordingly, the expected drop in the payout ratio explains the expected increase in the company's ROE to 14%, over the same period.
In total, it does look like Assurant has some positive aspects to its business. Namely, its respectable earnings growth, which it achieved due to it retaining most of its profits. However, given the low ROE, investors may not be benefitting from all that reinvestment after all. Having said that, looking at the current analyst estimates, we found that the company's earnings are expected to gain momentum. Are these analysts expectations based on the broad expectations for the industry, or on the company's fundamentals? Click here to be taken to our analyst's forecasts page for the company.
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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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