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La-Z-Boy Incorporated (NYSE:LZB): Has Recent Earnings Growth Beaten Long-Term Trend?

Autumn Haas

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After looking at La-Z-Boy Incorporated’s (NYSE:LZB) latest earnings update (26 January 2019), I found it helpful to revisit the company’s performance in the past couple of years and compare this against the latest numbers. As a long-term investor I tend to focus on earnings trend, rather than a single number at one point in time. Also, comparing it against an industry benchmark to understand whether it outperformed, or is simply riding an industry wave, is an important aspect. In this article I briefly touch on my key findings.

View our latest analysis for La-Z-Boy

Could LZB beat the long-term trend and outperform its industry?

LZB’s trailing twelve-month earnings (from 26 January 2019) of US$101m has jumped 36% compared to the previous year.

Furthermore, this one-year growth rate has exceeded its 5-year annual growth average of 8.5%, indicating the rate at which LZB is growing has accelerated. How has it been able to do this? Let’s see whether it is only attributable to industry tailwinds, or if La-Z-Boy has experienced some company-specific growth.

NYSE:LZB Income Statement, February 22nd 2019

In terms of returns from investment, La-Z-Boy has fallen short of achieving a 20% return on equity (ROE), recording 15% instead. However, its return on assets (ROA) of 9.4% exceeds the US Consumer Durables industry of 6.8%, indicating La-Z-Boy has used its assets more efficiently. Though, its return on capital (ROC), which also accounts for La-Z-Boy’s debt level, has declined over the past 3 years from 19% to 17%. This correlates with an increase in debt holding, with debt-to-equity ratio rising from 1.5% to 3.0% over the past 5 years.

What does this mean?

While past data is useful, it doesn’t tell the whole story. Positive growth and profitability are what investors like to see in a company’s track record, but how do we properly assess sustainability? You should continue to research La-Z-Boy to get a better picture of the stock by looking at:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for LZB’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for LZB’s outlook.
  2. Financial Health: Are LZB’s operations financially sustainable? Balance sheets can be hard to analyze, which is why we’ve done it for you. Check out our financial health checks here.
  3. Other High-Performing Stocks: Are there other stocks that provide better prospects with proven track records? Explore our free list of these great stocks here.

NB: Figures in this article are calculated using data from the trailing twelve months from 26 January 2019. This may not be consistent with full year annual report figures.

We aim to bring you long-term focused research analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned. Thank you for reading.