Is Mueller Water Products, Inc.’s (NYSE:MWA) Latest Stock Performance Being Led By Its Strong Fundamentals?

Mueller Water Products’ (NYSE:MWA) stock is up by 9.7% over the past three months. Given its impressive performance, we decided to study the company’s key financial indicators as a company’s long-term fundamentals usually dictate market outcomes. Specifically, we decided to study Mueller Water Products’ ROE in this article.

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 other words, it is a profitability ratio which measures the rate of return on the capital provided by the company’s shareholders.

Check out our latest analysis for Mueller Water Products

How Is ROE Calculated?

ROE 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 Mueller Water Products is:

14% = US$86m ÷ US$610m (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2020).

The ‘return’ is the profit over the last twelve months. One way to conceptualize this is that for each $1 of shareholders’ capital it has, the company made $0.14 in profit.

What Has ROE Got To Do With Earnings Growth?

So far, we’ve learned that ROE is a measure of a company’s profitability. 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.

Mueller Water Products’ Earnings Growth And 14% ROE

To begin with, Mueller Water Products seems to have a respectable ROE. Further, the company’s ROE compares quite favorably to the industry average of 11%. This certainly adds some context to Mueller Water Products’ decent 16% net income growth seen over the past five years.

We then compared Mueller Water Products’ 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 10.0% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth
NYSE:MWA Past Earnings Growth September 28th 2020

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). This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. One good indicator of expected earnings growth is the P/E ratio which determines the price the market is willing to pay for a stock based on its earnings prospects. So, you may want to check if Mueller Water Products is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.

Is Mueller Water Products Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

Mueller Water Products has a healthy combination of a moderate three-year median payout ratio of 39% (or a retention ratio of 61%) and a respectable amount of growth in earnings as we saw above, meaning that the company has been making efficient use of its profits.

Moreover, Mueller Water Products 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. Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company over the next three years is expected to be approximately 37%.

Summary

On the whole, we feel that Mueller Water Products’ performance has been quite good. 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, the latest industry analyst forecasts reveal that the company’s earnings growth is expected to slow down. To know more about the latest analysts predictions for the company, check out this visualization of analyst forecasts for the company.

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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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