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Does National Western Life Group, Inc.'s (NASDAQ:NWLI) Recent Track Record Look Strong?

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After reading National Western Life Group, Inc.'s (NASDAQ:NWLI) most recent earnings announcement (31 March 2019), I found it useful to look back at how the company has performed in the past and compare this against the latest numbers. As a long term investor, I pay close attention to earnings trend, rather than the figures published at one point in time. I also compare against an industry benchmark to check whether National Western Life Group's performance has been impacted by industry movements. In this article I briefly touch on my key findings.

Check out our latest analysis for National Western Life Group

Did NWLI's recent earnings growth beat the long-term trend and the industry?

NWLI's trailing twelve-month earnings (from 31 March 2019) of US$130m has jumped 14% compared to the previous year.

Furthermore, this one-year growth rate has exceeded its 5-year annual growth average of 4.4%, indicating the rate at which NWLI is growing has accelerated. What's enabled this growth? Let's see whether it is merely a result of an industry uplift, or if National Western Life Group has seen some company-specific growth.

NasdaqGS:NWLI Income Statement, June 4th 2019
NasdaqGS:NWLI Income Statement, June 4th 2019

In terms of returns from investment, National Western Life Group has fallen short of achieving a 20% return on equity (ROE), recording 6.6% instead. Furthermore, its return on assets (ROA) of 1.0% is below the US Insurance industry of 2.6%, indicating National Western Life Group's are utilized less efficiently. However, its return on capital (ROC), which also accounts for National Western Life Group’s debt level, has increased over the past 3 years from 1.2% to 1.3%.

What does this mean?

While past data is useful, it doesn’t tell the whole story. Companies that have performed well in the past, such as National Western Life Group gives investors conviction. However, the next step would be to assess whether the future looks as optimistic. You should continue to research National Western Life Group to get a better picture of the stock by looking at:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for NWLI’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for NWLI’s outlook.

  2. Financial Health: Are NWLI’s operations financially sustainable? Balance sheets can be hard to analyze, which is why we’ve done it for you. Check out our financial health checks here.

  3. Other High-Performing Stocks: Are there other stocks that provide better prospects with proven track records? Explore our free list of these great stocks here.

NB: Figures in this article are calculated using data from the trailing twelve months from 31 March 2019. This may not be consistent with full year annual report figures.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.