With its stock down 15% over the past three months, it is easy to disregard UFP Industries (NASDAQ:UFPI). However, a closer look at its sound financials might cause you to think again. Given that fundamentals usually drive long-term market outcomes, the company is worth looking at. Specifically, we decided to study UFP Industries' ROE in this article.
Return on equity or ROE is a key measure used to assess how efficiently a company's management is utilizing the company's capital. In other words, it is a profitability ratio which measures the rate of return on the capital provided by the company's shareholders.
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 UFP Industries is:
16% = US$228m ÷ US$1.4b (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2020).
The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. One way to conceptualize this is that for each $1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made $0.16 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. 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. 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.
UFP Industries' Earnings Growth And 16% ROE
To begin with, UFP Industries seems to have a respectable ROE. Further, the company's ROE is similar to the industry average of 16%. This certainly adds some context to UFP Industries' moderate 19% net income growth seen over the past five years.
We then compared UFP Industries' 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% in the same period.
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). By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. 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 UFP Industries is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.
Is UFP Industries Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?
UFP Industries has a low three-year median payout ratio of 15%, meaning that the company retains the remaining 85% of its profits. This suggests that the management is reinvesting most of the profits to grow the business.
Moreover, UFP Industries 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 13%. Therefore, the company's future ROE is also not expected to change by much with analysts predicting an ROE of 16%.
On the whole, we feel that UFP Industries' performance has been quite good. In particular, it's great to see that the company is investing heavily into its business and along with a high rate of return, that has resulted in a sizeable 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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