With A -13% Earnings Drop, Did C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc. (NASDAQ:CHRW) Really Underperform?

When C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc.’s (NasdaqGS:CHRW) announced its latest earnings (31 December 2019), I wanted to understand how these figures stacked up against its past performance. The two benchmarks I used were C.H. Robinson Worldwide’s average earnings over the past couple of years, and its industry performance. These are useful yardsticks to help me gauge whether or not CHRW actually performed well. Below is a quick commentary on how I see CHRW has performed.

Check out our latest analysis for C.H. Robinson Worldwide

Did CHRW perform worse than its track record and industry?

CHRW’s trailing twelve-month earnings (from 31 December 2019) of US$577m has declined by -13% compared to the previous year.

Furthermore, this one-year growth rate has been lower than its average earnings growth rate over the past 5 years of 7.3%, indicating the rate at which CHRW is growing has slowed down. Why could this be happening? Well, let’s look at what’s going on with margins and whether the entire industry is facing the same headwind.

NasdaqGS:CHRW Income Statement, January 30th 2020
NasdaqGS:CHRW Income Statement, January 30th 2020

In terms of returns from investment, C.H. Robinson Worldwide has invested its equity funds well leading to a 35% return on equity (ROE), above the sensible minimum of 20%. Furthermore, its return on assets (ROA) of 13% exceeds the US Logistics industry of 6.4%, indicating C.H. Robinson Worldwide has used its assets more efficiently. However, its return on capital (ROC), which also accounts for C.H. Robinson Worldwide’s debt level, has declined over the past 3 years from 45% to 26%.

What does this mean?

Though C.H. Robinson Worldwide’s past data is helpful, it is only one aspect of my investment thesis. Companies that are profitable, but have volatile earnings, can have many factors impacting its business. I suggest you continue to research C.H. Robinson Worldwide to get a better picture of the stock by looking at:

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for CHRW’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for CHRW’s outlook.
  2. Financial Health: Are CHRW’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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