nib holdings' (ASX:NHF) stock up by 6.3% over the past three months. 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. Specifically, we decided to study nib holdings' ROE in this article.
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 short, ROE shows the profit each dollar generates with respect to its shareholder investments.
How To 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 nib holdings is:
18% = AU$136m ÷ AU$734m (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2022).
The 'return' is the amount earned after tax over the last twelve months. Another way to think of that is that for every A$1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn A$0.18 in profit.
What Is The Relationship Between ROE And Earnings Growth?
So far, we've learned that ROE is a measure of a company's profitability. 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.
nib holdings' Earnings Growth And 18% ROE
To begin with, nib holdings seems to have a respectable ROE. Especially when compared to the industry average of 6.5% the company's ROE looks pretty impressive. However, for some reason, the higher returns aren't reflected in nib holdings' meagre five year net income growth average of 3.7%. This is interesting as the high returns should mean that the company has the ability to generate high growth but for some reason, it hasn't been able to do so. We reckon that a low growth, when returns are quite high could be the result of certain circumstances like low earnings retention or poor allocation of capital.
As a next step, we compared nib holdings' net income growth with the industry and were disappointed to see that the company's growth is lower than the industry average growth of 8.1% in the same period.
The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. The investor should try to establish if the expected growth or decline in earnings, whichever the case may be, is priced in. This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. Has the market priced in the future outlook for NHF? You can find out in our latest intrinsic value infographic research report.
Is nib holdings Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?
With a high three-year median payout ratio of 70% (or a retention ratio of 30%), most of nib holdings' profits are being paid to shareholders. This definitely contributes to the low earnings growth seen by the company.
In addition, nib holdings has been paying dividends over a period of at least ten years suggesting that keeping up dividend payments is way more important to the management even if it comes at the cost of business growth. Upon studying the latest analysts' consensus data, we found that the company is expected to keep paying out approximately 66% of its profits over the next three years. However, nib holdings' ROE is predicted to rise to 23% despite there being no anticipated change in its payout ratio.
On the whole, we do feel that nib holdings has some positive attributes. However, while the company does have a high ROE, its earnings growth number is quite disappointing. This can be blamed on the fact that it reinvests only a small portion of its profits and pays out the rest as dividends. Having said that, looking at the current analyst estimates, we found that the company's earnings are expected to gain momentum. To know more about the latest analysts predictions for the company, check out this visualization of analyst forecasts for the company.
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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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