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Old Republic International Corporation (NYSE:ORI) Is Going Strong But Fundamentals Appear To Be Mixed : Is There A Clear Direction For The Stock?

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Simply Wall St
·4 min read
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Old Republic International's (NYSE:ORI) stock is up by a considerable 15% over the past three months. But the company's key financial indicators appear to be differing across the board and that makes us question whether or not the company's current share price momentum can be maintained. Specifically, we decided to study Old Republic International's ROE in this article.

Return on equity or ROE is a key measure used to assess how efficiently a company's management is utilizing the company's capital. Put another way, it reveals the company's success at turning shareholder investments into profits.

See our latest analysis for Old Republic International

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 Old Republic International is:

5.2% = US$315m ÷ US$6.1b (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2020).

The 'return' is the profit over the last twelve months. That means that for every $1 worth of shareholders' equity, the company generated $0.05 in profit.

Why Is ROE Important For Earnings Growth?

We have already established that ROE serves as an efficient profit-generating gauge for a company's future earnings. 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 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.

Old Republic International's Earnings Growth And 5.2% ROE

When you first look at it, Old Republic International's ROE doesn't look that attractive. A quick further study shows that the company's ROE doesn't compare favorably to the industry average of 8.3% either. Accordingly, Old Republic International's low net income growth of 3.7% over the past five years can possibly be explained by the low ROE amongst other factors.

We then compared Old Republic International's net income growth with the industry and found that the company's growth figure is lower than the average industry growth rate of 6.8% in the same period, which is a bit concerning.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

Earnings growth is a huge factor in stock valuation. 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 ORI fairly valued? This infographic on the company's intrinsic value has everything you need to know.

Is Old Republic International Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

While Old Republic International has a decent three-year median payout ratio of 39% (or a retention ratio of 61%), it has seen very little growth in earnings. Therefore, there might be some other reasons to explain the lack in that respect. For example, the business could be in decline.

Moreover, Old Republic International 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. Upon studying the latest analysts' consensus data, we found that the company's future payout ratio is expected to rise to 48% over the next three years.

Conclusion

On the whole, we feel that the performance shown by Old Republic International can be open to many interpretations. While the company does have a high rate of reinvestment, the low ROE means that all that reinvestment is not reaping any benefit to its investors, and moreover, its having a negative impact on the earnings growth. With that said, the latest industry analyst forecasts reveal that the company's earnings are expected to accelerate. 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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team@simplywallst.com.