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Steven Madden, Ltd.'s (NASDAQ:SHOO) Fundamentals Look Pretty Strong: Could The Market Be Wrong About The Stock?

It is hard to get excited after looking at Steven Madden's (NASDAQ:SHOO) recent performance, when its stock has declined 23% over the past three months. But if you pay close attention, you might find that its key financial indicators look quite decent, which could mean that the stock could potentially rise in the long-term given how markets usually reward more resilient long-term fundamentals. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Steven Madden's 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 short, ROE shows the profit each dollar generates with respect to its shareholder investments.

View our latest analysis for Steven Madden

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 Steven Madden is:

29% = US$245m ÷ US$843m (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2022).

The 'return' is the profit 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 $0.29 in profit.

Why Is ROE Important For 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 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.

Steven Madden's Earnings Growth And 29% ROE

First thing first, we like that Steven Madden has an impressive ROE. Additionally, the company's ROE is higher compared to the industry average of 22% which is quite remarkable. Needless to say, we are quite surprised to see that Steven Madden's net income shrunk at a rate of 2.9% over the past five years. So, there might be some other aspects that could explain this. For example, it could be that the company has a high payout ratio or the business has allocated capital poorly, for instance.

That being said, we compared Steven Madden's performance with the industry and were concerned when we found that while the company has shrunk its earnings, the industry has grown its earnings at a rate of 6.8% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

Earnings growth is an important metric to consider when valuing a stock. 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. One good indicator of expected earnings growth is the P/E ratio which determines the price the market is willing to pay for a stock based on its earnings prospects. So, you may want to check if Steven Madden is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.

Is Steven Madden Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

Looking at its three-year median payout ratio of 32% (or a retention ratio of 68%) which is pretty normal, Steven Madden's declining earnings is rather baffling as one would expect to see a fair bit of growth when a company is retaining a good portion of its profits. So there might be other factors at play here which could potentially be hampering growth. For example, the business has faced some headwinds.

Additionally, Steven Madden has paid dividends over a period of four years, which means that the company's management is rather focused on keeping up its dividend payments, regardless of the shrinking earnings. Upon studying the latest analysts' consensus data, we found that the company's future payout ratio is expected to drop to 25% over the next three years. Despite the lower expected payout ratio, the company's ROE is not expected to change by much.

Summary

In total, it does look like Steven Madden has some positive aspects to its business. Yet, the low earnings growth is a bit concerning, especially given that the company has a high rate of return and is reinvesting ma huge portion of its profits. By the looks of it, there could be some other factors, not necessarily in control of the business, that's preventing growth. With that said, we studied the latest analyst forecasts and found that while the company has shrunk its earnings in the past, analysts expect its earnings to grow in the future. To know more about the latest analysts predictions for the company, check out this visualization of analyst forecasts for the company.

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

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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