QBE Insurance Group (ASX:QBE) has had a great run on the share market with its stock up by a significant 6.7% over the last month. Since the market usually pay for a company’s long-term fundamentals, we decided to study the company’s key performance indicators to see if they could be influencing the market. In this article, we decided to focus on QBE Insurance Group's 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. Simply put, it is used to assess the profitability of a company in relation to its equity capital.
How Do You Calculate Return On Equity?
Return on equity 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 QBE Insurance Group is:
13% = US$1.1b ÷ US$9.0b (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2023).
The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. One way to conceptualize this is that for each A$1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made A$0.13 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. We now need to evaluate how much profit the company reinvests or "retains" for future growth which then gives us an idea about the growth potential of the company. 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 QBE Insurance Group's Earnings Growth And 13% ROE
To begin with, QBE Insurance Group seems to have a respectable ROE. Especially when compared to the industry average of 9.4% the company's ROE looks pretty impressive. This probably laid the ground for QBE Insurance Group's significant 27% net income growth seen over the past five years. We believe that there might also be other aspects that are positively influencing the company's earnings growth. For example, it is possible that the company's management has made some good strategic decisions, or that the company has a low payout ratio.
Next, on comparing with the industry net income growth, we found that QBE Insurance Group's growth is quite high when compared to the industry average growth of 4.5% in the same period, which is great to see.
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. Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. 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 QBE Insurance Group is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.
Is QBE Insurance Group Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?
QBE Insurance Group's three-year median payout ratio is a pretty moderate 46%, meaning the company retains 54% of its income. So it seems that QBE Insurance Group is reinvesting efficiently in a way that it sees impressive growth in its earnings (discussed above) and pays a dividend that's well covered.
Moreover, QBE Insurance Group is determined to keep sharing its profits with shareholders which we infer from its long history of paying a dividend for at least ten years. Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company over the next three years is expected to be approximately 50%. Regardless, the future ROE for QBE Insurance Group is predicted to rise to 16% despite there being not much change expected in its payout ratio.
Overall, we are quite pleased with QBE Insurance Group's performance. Particularly, we like that the company is reinvesting heavily into its business, and at a high rate of return. Unsurprisingly, this has led to an impressive earnings growth. That being so, a study of the latest analyst forecasts show that the company is expected to see a slowdown in its future earnings growth. 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.
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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.