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Federal Signal Corporation's (NYSE:FSS) Fundamentals Look Pretty Strong: Could The Market Be Wrong About The Stock?

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With its stock down 1.2% over the past three months, it is easy to disregard Federal Signal (NYSE:FSS). However, a closer look at its sound financials might cause you to think again. Given that fundamentals usually drive long-term market outcomes, the company is worth looking at. In this article, we decided to focus on Federal Signal'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 Federal Signal

How Is ROE Calculated?

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 Federal Signal is:

14% = US$103m ÷ US$746m (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2021).

The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. That means that for every $1 worth of shareholders' equity, the company generated $0.14 in profit.

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. 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.

Federal Signal's Earnings Growth And 14% ROE

To start with, Federal Signal's ROE looks acceptable. Especially when compared to the industry average of 12% the company's ROE looks pretty impressive. Probably as a result of this, Federal Signal was able to see a decent growth of 19% over the last five years.

We then compared Federal Signal'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 8.1% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

Earnings growth is a huge factor in stock valuation. It’s important for an investor to know whether the market has priced in the company's expected earnings growth (or decline). Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. Has the market priced in the future outlook for FSS? You can find out in our latest intrinsic value infographic research report.

Is Federal Signal Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

Federal Signal has a low three-year median payout ratio of 20%, meaning that the company retains the remaining 80% of its profits. This suggests that the management is reinvesting most of the profits to grow the business.

Moreover, Federal Signal 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. Existing analyst estimates suggest that the company's future payout ratio is expected to drop to 15% over the next three years. However, the company's ROE is not expected to change by much despite the lower expected payout ratio.

Summary

Overall, we are quite pleased with Federal Signal's performance. Particularly, we like that the company is reinvesting heavily into its business, and at a high rate of return. Unsurprisingly, this has led to an impressive earnings growth. Having said that, the company's earnings growth is expected to slow down, as forecasted in the current analyst estimates. To know more about the company's future earnings growth forecasts take a look at this free report on analyst forecasts for the company to find out more.

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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.