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Graco (NYSE:GGG) has had a great run on the share market with its stock up by a significant 23% over the last three months. Given the company's impressive performance, we decided to study its financial indicators more closely as a company's financial health over the long-term usually dictates market outcomes. Specifically, we decided to study Graco's ROE in this article.
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. In short, ROE shows the profit each dollar generates with respect to its shareholder investments.
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 Graco is:
26% = US$271m ÷ US$1.0b (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 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 $0.26 in profit.
Why Is ROE Important For Earnings Growth?
Thus far, we have learned that ROE measures how efficiently a company is generating its profits. We now need to evaluate how much profit the company reinvests or "retains" for future growth which then gives us an idea about the growth potential of the company. Assuming all else is equal, companies that have both a higher return on equity and higher profit retention are usually the ones that have a higher growth rate when compared to companies that don't have the same features.
Graco's Earnings Growth And 26% ROE
Firstly, we acknowledge that Graco has a significantly high ROE. Second, a comparison with the average ROE reported by the industry of 11% also doesn't go unnoticed by us. Probably as a result of this, Graco was able to see a decent net income growth of 6.5% over the last five years.
As a next step, we compared Graco'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 10% in the same period.
Earnings growth is a huge factor in stock valuation. It’s important for an investor to know whether the market has priced in the company's expected earnings growth (or decline). This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. 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 Graco is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.
Is Graco Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?
Graco has a healthy combination of a moderate three-year median payout ratio of 32% (or a retention ratio of 68%) and a respectable amount of growth in earnings as we saw above, meaning that the company has been making efficient use of its profits.
Besides, Graco has been paying dividends for at least ten years or more. This shows that the company is committed to sharing profits with its shareholders. Upon studying the latest analysts' consensus data, we found that the company is expected to keep paying out approximately 35% of its profits over the next three years.
Overall, we are quite pleased with Graco's performance. Particularly, we like that the company is reinvesting heavily into its business, and at a high rate of return. As a result, the decent growth in its earnings is not surprising. 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.
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