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Do Its Financials Have Any Role To Play In Driving Fastenal Company's (NASDAQ:FAST) Stock Up Recently?

Fastenal's (NASDAQ:FAST) stock is up by a considerable 12% 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. 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. In other words, it is a profitability ratio which measures the rate of return on the capital provided by the company's shareholders.

See our latest analysis for Fastenal

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 Fastenal is:

34% = US$1.1b ÷ US$3.2b (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2022).

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 $0.34 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. Based on how much of its profits the company chooses to reinvest or "retain", we are then able to evaluate a company's future ability to generate profits. 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.

Fastenal's Earnings Growth And 34% ROE

To begin with, Fastenal has a pretty high ROE which is interesting. Secondly, even when compared to the industry average of 23% the company's ROE is quite impressive. Probably as a result of this, Fastenal was able to see a decent net income growth of 11% over the last five years.

As a next step, we compared Fastenal's net income growth with the industry and were disappointed to see that the company's growth is lower than the industry average growth of 15% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

Earnings growth is a huge factor in stock valuation. What investors need to determine next is if the expected earnings growth, or the lack of it, is already built into the share price. Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. One good indicator of expected earnings growth is the P/E ratio which determines the price the market is willing to pay for a stock based on its earnings prospects. So, you may want to check if Fastenal is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.

Is Fastenal Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

Fastenal has a significant three-year median payout ratio of 66%, meaning that it is left with only 34% to reinvest into its business. This implies that the company has been able to achieve decent earnings growth despite returning most of its profits to shareholders.

Besides, Fastenal has been paying dividends for at least ten years or more. This shows that the company is committed to sharing profits with its 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 32% for future ROE.

Summary

In total, it does look like Fastenal has some positive aspects to its business. The company has grown its earnings moderately as previously discussed. Still, the high ROE could have been even more beneficial to investors had the company been reinvesting more of its profits. As highlighted earlier, the current reinvestment rate appears to be quite low. That being so, a study of the latest analyst forecasts show that the company is expected to see a slowdown in its future earnings growth. To know more about the latest analysts predictions for the company, check out this visualization of analyst forecasts for the company.

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

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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