It is hard to get excited after looking at Worthington Industries' (NYSE:WOR) recent performance, when its stock has declined 13% 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. In this article, we decided to focus on Worthington Industries' ROE.
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.
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 Worthington Industries is:
16% = US$264m ÷ US$1.6b (Based on the trailing twelve months to August 2021).
The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. Another way to think of that is that for every $1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn $0.16 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. 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 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.
Worthington Industries' Earnings Growth And 16% ROE
At first glance, Worthington Industries seems to have a decent ROE. And on comparing with the industry, we found that the the average industry ROE is similar at 16%. This probably goes some way in explaining Worthington Industries' significant 25% net income growth over the past five years amongst other factors. However, there could also be other drivers behind this 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.
We then compared Worthington Industries' net income growth with the industry and we're pleased to see that the company's growth figure is higher when compared with the industry which has a growth rate of 12% in the same period.
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. What is WOR worth today? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether WOR is currently mispriced by the market.
Is Worthington Industries Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?
The three-year median payout ratio for Worthington Industries is 26%, which is moderately low. The company is retaining the remaining 74%. By the looks of it, the dividend is well covered and Worthington Industries is reinvesting its profits efficiently as evidenced by its exceptional growth which we discussed above.
Additionally, Worthington Industries has paid dividends over a period of at least ten years which means that the company is pretty serious about sharing its profits with shareholders. Upon studying the latest analysts' consensus data, we found that the company is expected to keep paying out approximately 27% of its profits over the next three years.
Overall, we are quite pleased with Worthington Industries' 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 substantial growth in its earnings. With that said, on studying the latest analyst forecasts, we found that while the company has seen growth in its past earnings, analysts expect its future earnings to shrink. 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. 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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