It is hard to get excited after looking at Martin Marietta Materials' (NYSE:MLM) recent performance, when its stock has declined 4.0% over the past three months. However, a closer look at its sound financials might cause you to think again. Given that fundamentals usually drive long-term market outcomes, the company is worth looking at. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Martin Marietta Materials' ROE today.
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 other words, it is a profitability ratio which measures the rate of return on the capital provided by the company's shareholders.
How To Calculate Return On Equity?
The formula for return on equity is:
Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders' Equity
So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Martin Marietta Materials is:
10% = US$661m ÷ US$6.4b (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2022).
The 'return' is the amount earned after tax over the last twelve months. Another way to think of that is that for every $1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn $0.10 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. 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.
A Side By Side comparison of Martin Marietta Materials' Earnings Growth And 10% ROE
To start with, Martin Marietta Materials' ROE looks acceptable. And on comparing with the industry, we found that the the average industry ROE is similar at 12%. This probably goes some way in explaining Martin Marietta Materials' moderate 7.0% growth over the past five years amongst other factors.
We then compared Martin Marietta Materials' net income growth with the industry and found that the company's growth figure is lower than the average industry growth rate of 17% in the same period, which is a bit concerning.
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. By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. If you're wondering about Martin Marietta Materials''s valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.
Is Martin Marietta Materials Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?
Martin Marietta Materials has a low three-year median payout ratio of 21%, meaning that the company retains the remaining 79% of its profits. This suggests that the management is reinvesting most of the profits to grow the business.
Besides, Martin Marietta Materials has been paying dividends for at least ten years or more. This shows that the company is committed to sharing profits with its shareholders. Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company is expected to drop to 12% over the next three years. Accordingly, the expected drop in the payout ratio explains the expected increase in the company's ROE to 14%, over the same period.
Overall, we are quite pleased with Martin Marietta Materials' 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. 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.