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Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings' (NYSE:KNX) stock is up by 1.2% over the past month. Given that stock prices are usually aligned with a company's financial performance in the long-term, we decided to investigate if the company's decent financials had a hand to play in the recent price move. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings' ROE today.
Return on equity or ROE is a key measure used to assess how efficiently a company's management is utilizing the company's capital. In other words, it is a profitability ratio which measures the rate of return on the capital provided by the company's shareholders.
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 Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings is:
5.7% = US$336m ÷ US$5.9b (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2020).
The 'return' is the yearly profit. One way to conceptualize this is that for each $1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made $0.06 in profit.
What Has ROE Got To Do With 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.
Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings' Earnings Growth And 5.7% ROE
When you first look at it, Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings' ROE doesn't look that attractive. We then compared the company's ROE to the broader industry and were disappointed to see that the ROE is lower than the industry average of 13%. However, we we're pleasantly surprised to see that Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings grew its net income at a significant rate of 25% in the last five years. Therefore, there could be other reasons behind this growth. For instance, the company has a low payout ratio or is being managed efficiently.
We then compared Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings' 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 7.9% in the same period.
The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. It’s important for an investor to know whether the market has priced in the company's expected earnings growth (or decline). By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. Has the market priced in the future outlook for KNX? You can find out in our latest intrinsic value infographic research report.
Is Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?
Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings' ' three-year median payout ratio is on the lower side at 10% implying that it is retaining a higher percentage (90%) of its profits. This suggests that the management is reinvesting most of the profits to grow the business as evidenced by the growth seen by the company.
Moreover, Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings 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. 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 12%. Still, forecasts suggest that Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings' future ROE will rise to 8.6% even though the the company's payout ratio is not expected to change by much.
In total, it does look like Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings has some positive aspects to its business. Despite its low rate of return, the fact that the company reinvests a very high portion of its profits into its business, no doubt contributed to its high earnings growth. 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. 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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