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Fastenal's (NASDAQ:FAST) stock up by 4.6% over the past month. Given its impressive performance, we decided to study the company's key financial indicators as a company's long-term fundamentals usually dictate market outcomes. Specifically, we decided to study Fastenal's ROE in this article.
Return on Equity or ROE is a test of how effectively a company is growing its value and managing investors’ money. Put another way, it reveals the company's success at turning shareholder investments into profits.
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 Fastenal is:
30% = US$868m ÷ US$2.9b (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 $0.30.
Why Is ROE Important For 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.
Fastenal's Earnings Growth And 30% ROE
Firstly, we acknowledge that Fastenal has a significantly high ROE. Additionally, the company's ROE is higher compared to the industry average of 13% which is quite remarkable. Probably as a result of this, Fastenal was able to see a decent net income growth of 13% over the last five years.
As a next step, we compared Fastenal's net income growth with the industry, and pleasingly, we found that the growth seen by the company is higher than the average industry growth of 10%.
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. If you're wondering about Fastenal's's valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.
Is Fastenal Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?
While Fastenal has a three-year median payout ratio of 63% (which means it retains 37% of profits), the company has still seen a fair bit of earnings growth in the past, meaning that its high payout ratio hasn't hampered its ability to grow.
Additionally, Fastenal has paid dividends over a period of at least ten years which means that the company is pretty serious about sharing its profits with shareholders. Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company over the next three years is expected to be approximately 70%. As a result, Fastenal's ROE is not expected to change by much either, which we inferred from the analyst estimate of 33% for future ROE.
Overall, we are quite pleased with Fastenal's performance. Especially the high ROE, Which has contributed to the impressive growth seen in earnings. Despite the company reinvesting only a small portion of its profits, it still has managed to grow its earnings so that is appreciable. Having said that, the company's earnings growth is expected to slow down, as forecasted in the current analyst estimates. 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.
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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