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Williams-Sonoma, Inc.'s (NYSE:WSM) Stock Is Going Strong: Is the Market Following Fundamentals?

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·4 min read
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Williams-Sonoma's (NYSE:WSM) stock is up by a considerable 42% over the past three months. Given that the market rewards strong financials in the long-term, we wonder if that is the case in this instance. In this article, we decided to focus on Williams-Sonoma's ROE.

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.

Check out our latest analysis for Williams-Sonoma

How To Calculate Return On Equity?

The formula for ROE is:

Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders' Equity

So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Williams-Sonoma is:

41% = US$681m ÷ US$1.7b (Based on the trailing twelve months to January 2021).

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 $0.41 in profit.

What Is The Relationship Between ROE And 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 everything else remains unchanged, the higher the ROE and profit retention, the higher the growth rate of a company compared to companies that don't necessarily bear these characteristics.

Williams-Sonoma's Earnings Growth And 41% ROE

To begin with, Williams-Sonoma has a pretty high ROE which is interesting. Second, a comparison with the average ROE reported by the industry of 21% also doesn't go unnoticed by us. This probably laid the groundwork for Williams-Sonoma's moderate 12% net income growth seen over the past five years.

As a next step, we compared Williams-Sonoma's net income growth with the industry and found that the company has a similar growth figure when compared with the industry average growth rate of 12% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

Earnings growth is an important metric to consider when valuing a stock. 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. Is WSM fairly valued? This infographic on the company's intrinsic value has everything you need to know.

Is Williams-Sonoma Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

Williams-Sonoma has a three-year median payout ratio of 42%, which implies that it retains the remaining 58% 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.

Besides, Williams-Sonoma 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 24% over the next three years. However, the company's ROE is not expected to change by much despite the lower expected payout ratio.

Conclusion

Overall, we are quite pleased with Williams-Sonoma'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. 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.

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.

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