ITT's (NYSE:ITT) stock is up by a considerable 27% over the past three months. But the company's key financial indicators appear to be differing across the board and that makes us question whether or not the company's current share price momentum can be maintained. Specifically, we decided to study ITT's ROE in this article.
Return on Equity or ROE is a test of how effectively a company is growing its value and managing investors’ money. In simpler terms, it measures the profitability of a company in relation to shareholder's equity.
How To Calculate Return On Equity?
Return on equity 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 ITT is:
7.4% = US$150m ÷ US$2.0b (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2020).
The 'return' is the yearly profit. So, this means that for every $1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of $0.07.
What Has ROE Got To Do With Earnings Growth?
Thus far, we have learned that ROE measures how efficiently a company is generating its profits. 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.
ITT's Earnings Growth And 7.4% ROE
At first glance, ITT's ROE doesn't look very promising. A quick further study shows that the company's ROE doesn't compare favorably to the industry average of 11% either. As a result, ITT reported a very low income growth of 3.5% over the past five years.
We then compared ITT's net income growth with the industry and found that the company's growth figure is lower than the average industry growth rate of 9.4% in the same period, which is a bit concerning.
The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. It’s important for an investor to know whether the market has priced in the company's expected earnings growth (or decline). Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. Has the market priced in the future outlook for ITT? You can find out in our latest intrinsic value infographic research report.
Is ITT Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?
ITT has a low three-year median payout ratio of 18% (meaning, the company keeps the remaining 82% of profits) which means that the company is retaining more of its earnings. This should be reflected in its earnings growth number, but that's not the case. So there might be other factors at play here which could potentially be hampering growth. For example, the business has faced some headwinds.
Additionally, ITT has paid dividends over a period of at least ten years, which means that the company's management is determined to pay dividends even if it means little to no earnings growth. Based on the latest analysts' estimates, we found that the company's future payout ratio over the next three years is expected to hold steady at 16%. However, ITT's ROE is predicted to rise to 16% despite there being no anticipated change in its payout ratio.
In total, we're a bit ambivalent about ITT's performance. While the company does have a high rate of reinvestment, the low ROE means that all that reinvestment is not reaping any benefit to its investors, and moreover, its having a negative impact on the earnings growth. That being so, the latest analyst forecasts show that the company will continue to see an expansion in its earnings. 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.
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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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