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Do Its Financials Have Any Role To Play In Driving The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc.'s (NYSE:HIG) Stock Up Recently?

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Simply Wall St
·4 min read
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Hartford Financial Services Group (NYSE:HIG) has had a great run on the share market with its stock up by a significant 30% over the last three months. We wonder if and what role the company's financials play in that price change as a company's long-term fundamentals usually dictate market outcomes. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Hartford Financial Services Group's ROE today.

Return on equity or ROE is an important factor to be considered by a shareholder because it tells them how effectively their capital is being reinvested. Put another way, it reveals the company's success at turning shareholder investments into profits.

See our latest analysis for Hartford Financial Services Group

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 Hartford Financial Services Group is:

9.8% = US$1.7b ÷ US$18b (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2020).

The 'return' is the yearly profit. Another way to think of that is that for every $1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn $0.10 in profit.

Why Is ROE Important For Earnings Growth?

So far, we've learned that ROE is a measure of a company's profitability. 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. 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.

Hartford Financial Services Group's Earnings Growth And 9.8% ROE

On the face of it, Hartford Financial Services Group's ROE is not much to talk about. Yet, a closer study shows that the company's ROE is similar to the industry average of 8.3%. Having said that, Hartford Financial Services Group has shown a modest net income growth of 14% over the past five years. Given the slightly low ROE, it is likely that there could be some other aspects that are driving this growth. Such as - high earnings retention or an efficient management in place.

Next, on comparing with the industry net income growth, we found that Hartford Financial Services Group's growth is quite high when compared to the industry average growth of 6.8% in the same period, which is great to see.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

Earnings growth is a huge factor in stock valuation. The investor should try to establish if the expected growth or decline in earnings, whichever the case may be, is priced in. By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. If you're wondering about Hartford Financial Services Group's's valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.

Is Hartford Financial Services Group Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

With a three-year median payout ratio of 25% (implying that the company retains 75% of its profits), it seems that Hartford Financial Services Group is reinvesting efficiently in a way that it sees respectable amount growth in its earnings and pays a dividend that's well covered.

Additionally, Hartford Financial Services Group 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. Based on the latest analysts' estimates, we found that the company's future payout ratio over the next three years is expected to hold steady at 25%. Therefore, the company's future ROE is also not expected to change by much with analysts predicting an ROE of 11%.

Summary

Overall, we feel that Hartford Financial Services Group certainly does have some positive factors to consider. Even in spite of the low rate of return, the company has posted impressive earnings growth as a result of reinvesting heavily into its business. The latest industry analyst forecasts show that the company is expected to maintain its current growth rate. To know more about the latest analysts predictions for the company, check out this visualization of analyst forecasts 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.

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