Is Weakness In Howden Joinery Group Plc (LON:HWDN) Stock A Sign That The Market Could be Wrong Given Its Strong Financial Prospects?

With its stock down 23% over the past three months, it is easy to disregard Howden Joinery Group (LON:HWDN). But if you pay close attention, you might gather that its strong financials could mean that the stock could potentially see an increase in value in the long-term, given how markets usually reward companies with good financial health. In this article, we decided to focus on Howden Joinery Group’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. Put another way, it reveals the company’s success at turning shareholder investments into profits.

See our latest analysis for Howden Joinery Group

How Do You Calculate Return On Equity?

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 Howden Joinery Group is:

34% = UK£209m ÷ UK£615m (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2019).

The ‘return’ is the yearly profit. That means that for every £1 worth of shareholders’ equity, the company generated £0.34 in profit.

Why Is ROE Important For Earnings Growth?

Thus far, we have learnt that ROE measures how efficiently a company is generating its profits. We now need to evaluate how much profit the company reinvests or “retains” for future growth which then gives us an idea about the growth potential of the company. Generally speaking, other things being equal, firms with a high return on equity and profit retention, have a higher growth rate than firms that don’t share these attributes.

A Side By Side comparison of Howden Joinery Group’s Earnings Growth And 34% ROE

To begin with, Howden Joinery Group has a pretty high ROE which is interesting. Secondly, even when compared to the industry average of 14% the company’s ROE is quite impressive. This likely paved the way for the modest 5.1% net income growth seen by Howden Joinery Group over the past five years. growth

We then compared Howden Joinery Group’s net income growth with the industry and found that the company’s growth figure is lower than the average industry growth rate of 12% in the same period, which is a bit concerning.

LSE:HWDN Past Earnings Growth April 28th 2020
LSE:HWDN Past Earnings Growth April 28th 2020

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 HWDN fairly valued? This infographic on the company’s intrinsic value has everything you need to know.

Is Howden Joinery Group Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

Howden Joinery Group has a three-year median payout ratio of 37%, which implies that it retains the remaining 63% 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.

Additionally, Howden Joinery Group has paid dividends over a period of eight 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 37% of its profits over the next three years. However, Howden Joinery Group’s future ROE is expected to decline to 26% despite there being not much change anticipated in the company’s payout ratio.

Conclusion

On the whole, we feel that Howden Joinery Group’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. As a result, the decent growth in its earnings is not surprising. We also studied the latest analyst forecasts and found that the company’s earnings growth is expected be similar to its current growth rate. 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.

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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