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Ingles Markets, Incorporated's (NASDAQ:IMKT.A) Stock Is Going Strong: Is the Market Following Fundamentals?

·4 min read

Ingles Markets (NASDAQ:IMKT.A) has had a great run on the share market with its stock up by a significant 29% 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. In this article, we decided to focus on Ingles Markets' 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. Simply put, it is used to assess the profitability of a company in relation to its equity capital.

View our latest analysis for Ingles Markets

How Do You Calculate Return On Equity?

ROE 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 Ingles Markets is:

25% = US$215m ÷ US$872m (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2020).

The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. Another way to think of that is that for every $1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn $0.25 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. 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. 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.

Ingles Markets' Earnings Growth And 25% ROE

To begin with, Ingles Markets has a pretty high ROE which is interesting. Secondly, even when compared to the industry average of 16% the company's ROE is quite impressive. Under the circumstances, Ingles Markets' considerable five year net income growth of 25% was to be expected.

We then compared Ingles Markets' 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.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

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. If you're wondering about Ingles Markets''s valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.

Is Ingles Markets Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

Ingles Markets has a really low three-year median payout ratio of 16%, meaning that it has the remaining 84% left over to reinvest into its business. So it seems like the management is reinvesting profits heavily to grow its business and this reflects in its earnings growth number.

Moreover, Ingles Markets 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.

Summary

On the whole, we feel that Ingles Markets' performance has been quite good. Specifically, we like that the company is reinvesting a huge chunk of its profits at a high rate of return. This of course has caused the company to see substantial growth in its earnings. If the company continues to grow its earnings the way it has, that could have a positive impact on its share price given how earnings per share influence long-term share prices. Not to forget, share price outcomes are also dependent on the potential risks a company may face. So it is important for investors to be aware of the risks involved in the business. Our risks dashboard would have the 3 risks we have identified for Ingles Markets.

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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