It is hard to get excited after looking at U.S. Physical Therapy's (NYSE:USPH) recent performance, when its stock has declined 26% over the past three months. However, stock prices are usually driven by a company’s financial performance over the long term, which in this case looks quite promising. Particularly, we will be paying attention to U.S. Physical Therapy'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.
How Is ROE Calculated?
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 U.S. Physical Therapy is:
12% = US$56m ÷ US$460m (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 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 $0.12 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. Depending on how much of these profits the company reinvests or "retains", and how effectively it does so, we are then able to assess a company’s earnings growth potential. 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.
U.S. Physical Therapy's Earnings Growth And 12% ROE
To start with, U.S. Physical Therapy's ROE looks acceptable. And on comparing with the industry, we found that the the average industry ROE is similar at 15%. Consequently, this likely laid the ground for the decent growth of 14% seen over the past five years by U.S. Physical Therapy.
Next, on comparing with the industry net income growth, we found that U.S. Physical Therapy's reported growth was lower than the industry growth of 19% in the same period, which is not something we like to see.
The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. The investor should try to establish if the expected growth or decline in earnings, whichever the case may be, is priced in. This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. Has the market priced in the future outlook for USPH? You can find out in our latest intrinsic value infographic research report.
Is U.S. Physical Therapy Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?
U.S. Physical Therapy has a three-year median payout ratio of 46%, which implies that it retains the remaining 54% of its profits. This suggests that its dividend is well covered, and given the decent growth seen by the company, it looks like management is reinvesting its earnings efficiently.
Moreover, U.S. Physical Therapy 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.
Overall, we are quite pleased with U.S. Physical Therapy's performance. Specifically, we like that the company is reinvesting a huge chunk of its profits at a high rate of return. This of course has caused the company to see a good amount of growth in its earnings. Having said that, the company's earnings growth is expected to slow down, as forecasted in the current analyst estimates. 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.
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