Has Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADP) Improved Earnings Growth In Recent Times?

Assessing Automatic Data Processing, Inc.’s (NasdaqGS:ADP) past track record of performance is an insightful exercise for investors. It allows us to reflect on whether or not the company has met or exceed expectations, which is a great indicator for future performance. Today I will assess ADP’s recent performance announced on 31 December 2019 and evaluate these figures to its long-term trend and industry movements.

Check out our latest analysis for Automatic Data Processing

Did ADP beat its long-term earnings growth trend and its industry?

ADP’s trailing twelve-month earnings (from 31 December 2019) of US$2.5b has jumped 32% compared to the previous year.

Furthermore, this one-year growth rate has exceeded its 5-year annual growth average of 12%, indicating the rate at which ADP is growing has accelerated. What’s enabled this growth? Let’s see whether it is solely due to industry tailwinds, or if Automatic Data Processing has seen some company-specific growth.

NasdaqGS:ADP Income Statement, February 20th 2020
NasdaqGS:ADP Income Statement, February 20th 2020

In terms of returns from investment, Automatic Data Processing has invested its equity funds well leading to a 46% return on equity (ROE), above the sensible minimum of 20%. However, its return on assets (ROA) of 5.1% is below the US IT industry of 7.1%, indicating Automatic Data Processing’s are utilized less efficiently. Though, its return on capital (ROC), which also accounts for Automatic Data Processing’s debt level, has increased over the past 3 years from 35% to 38%.

What does this mean?

While past data is useful, it doesn’t tell the whole story. Positive growth and profitability are what investors like to see in a company’s track record, but how do we properly assess sustainability? I recommend you continue to research Automatic Data Processing to get a better picture of the stock by looking at:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for ADP’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for ADP’s outlook.
  2. Financial Health: Are ADP’s operations financially sustainable? Balance sheets can be hard to analyze, which is why we’ve done it for you. Check out our financial health checks here.
  3. Other High-Performing Stocks: Are there other stocks that provide better prospects with proven track records? Explore our free list of these great stocks here.

NB: Figures in this article are calculated using data from the trailing twelve months from 31 December 2019. This may not be consistent with full year annual report figures.

If you spot an error that warrants correction, please contact the editor at editorial-team@simplywallst.com. 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. Simply Wall St has no position in the stocks mentioned.

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