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ZTO Express (Cayman) Inc.'s (NYSE:ZTO) Stock Is Going Strong: Is the Market Following Fundamentals?

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Simply Wall St
·4 min read
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Most readers would already be aware that ZTO Express (Cayman)'s (NYSE:ZTO) stock increased significantly by 15% over the past three months. 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 ZTO Express (Cayman)'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. In simpler terms, it measures the profitability of a company in relation to shareholder's equity.

See our latest analysis for ZTO Express (Cayman)

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 ZTO Express (Cayman) is:

11% = CN¥5.4b ÷ CN¥48b (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2020).

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 $0.11 in profit.

What Has ROE Got To Do With 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 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.

A Side By Side comparison of ZTO Express (Cayman)'s Earnings Growth And 11% ROE

To start with, ZTO Express (Cayman)'s ROE looks acceptable. And on comparing with the industry, we found that the the average industry ROE is similar at 10%. This certainly adds some context to ZTO Express (Cayman)'s exceptional 29% 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 instance, the company has a low payout ratio or is being managed efficiently.

Next, on comparing with the industry net income growth, we found that ZTO Express (Cayman)'s growth is quite high when compared to the industry average growth of 9.9% in the same period, which is great to see.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

Earnings growth is a huge factor in stock valuation. It’s important for an investor to know whether the market has priced in the company's expected earnings growth (or decline). Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. Is ZTO fairly valued? This infographic on the company's intrinsic value has everything you need to know.

Is ZTO Express (Cayman) Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

Summary

On the whole, we feel that ZTO Express (Cayman)'s performance has been quite good. 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. With that said, the latest industry analyst forecasts reveal that the company's earnings growth is expected to slow down. 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.

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