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Minerals Technologies (NYSE:MTX) has had a rough three months with its share price down 8.6%. It is possible that the markets have ignored the company's differing financials and decided to lean-in to the negative sentiment. Stock prices are usually driven by a company’s financial performance over the long term, and therefore we decided to pay more attention to the company's financial performance. In this article, we decided to focus on Minerals Technologies' ROE.
Return on equity or ROE is an important factor to be considered by a shareholder because it tells them how effectively their capital is being reinvested. In other words, it is a profitability ratio which measures the rate of return on the capital provided by the company's shareholders.
How Is ROE Calculated?
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 Minerals Technologies is:
9.4% = US$145m ÷ US$1.5b (Based on the trailing twelve months to July 2021).
The 'return' is the yearly profit. So, this means that for every $1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of $0.09.
What Is The Relationship Between ROE And 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.
A Side By Side comparison of Minerals Technologies' Earnings Growth And 9.4% ROE
When you first look at it, Minerals Technologies' ROE doesn't look that attractive. Next, when compared to the average industry ROE of 13%, the company's ROE leaves us feeling even less enthusiastic. Therefore, it might not be wrong to say that the five year net income decline of 2.9% seen by Minerals Technologies was probably the result of it having a lower ROE. However, there could also be other factors causing the earnings to decline. For instance, the company has a very high payout ratio, or is faced with competitive pressures.
However, when we compared Minerals Technologies' growth with the industry we found that while the company's earnings have been shrinking, the industry has seen an earnings growth of 3.2% in the same period. This is quite worrisome.
The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. What investors need to determine next is if the expected earnings growth, or the lack of it, is already built into the share price. This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. Is MTX fairly valued? This infographic on the company's intrinsic value has everything you need to know.
Is Minerals Technologies Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?
Minerals Technologies' low three-year median payout ratio of 5.0% (or a retention ratio of 95%) over the last three years should mean that the company is retaining most of its earnings to fuel its growth but the company's earnings have actually shrunk. The low payout should mean that the company is retaining most of its earnings and consequently, should see some growth. So there might be other factors at play here which could potentially be hampering growth. For instance, the business has faced some headwinds.
Moreover, Minerals Technologies has been paying dividends for at least ten years or more suggesting that management must have perceived that the shareholders prefer dividends over earnings growth. Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company is expected to drop to 3.4% over the next three years. The fact that the company's ROE is expected to rise to 12% over the same period is explained by the drop in the payout ratio.
On the whole, we feel that the performance shown by Minerals Technologies can be open to many interpretations. While the company does have a high rate of profit retention, its low rate of return is probably hampering its earnings growth. Having said that, looking at current analyst estimates, we found that the company's earnings growth rate is expected to see a huge improvement. 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. 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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