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Is Forward Air Corporation's (NASDAQ:FWRD) Latest Stock Performance A Reflection Of Its Financial Health?

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·4 min read
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Forward Air (NASDAQ:FWRD) has had a great run on the share market with its stock up by a significant 16% over the last three months. Given that the market rewards strong financials in the long-term, we wonder if that is the case in this instance. In this article, we decided to focus on Forward Air's ROE.

ROE or return on equity is a useful tool to assess how effectively a company can generate returns on the investment it received from its shareholders. Put another way, it reveals the company's success at turning shareholder investments into profits.

See our latest analysis for Forward Air

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 Forward Air is:

12% = US$69m ÷ US$566m (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2020).

The 'return' is the amount earned after tax over the last twelve months. One way to conceptualize this is that for each $1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made $0.12 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. 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.

Forward Air's Earnings Growth And 12% ROE

To begin with, Forward Air seems to have a respectable ROE. And on comparing with the industry, we found that the the average industry ROE is similar at 12%. Consequently, this likely laid the ground for the decent growth of 15% seen over the past five years by Forward Air.

As a next step, we compared Forward Air's net income growth with the industry and found that the company has a similar growth figure when compared with the industry average growth rate 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. 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 Forward Air's's valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.

Is Forward Air Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

Forward Air's three-year median payout ratio to shareholders is 22% (implying that it retains 78% of its income), which is on the lower side, so it seems like the management is reinvesting profits heavily to grow its business.

Additionally, Forward Air 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.

Summary

On the whole, we feel that Forward Air's performance has been quite good. 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. That being so, the latest analyst forecasts show that the company will continue to see an expansion in its earnings. 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. 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@simplywallst.com.