Is Weakness In Mueller Water Products, Inc. (NYSE:MWA) Stock A Sign That The Market Could be Wrong Given Its Strong Financial Prospects?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
January 19, 2022
NYSE:MWA
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Mueller Water Products (NYSE:MWA) has had a rough three months with its share price down 18%. 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. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Mueller Water Products' ROE today.

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 simpler terms, it measures the profitability of a company in relation to shareholder's equity.

View our latest analysis for Mueller Water Products

How Do You Calculate Return On Equity?

The formula for ROE is:

Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders' Equity

So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Mueller Water Products is:

10% = US$70m ÷ US$695m (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2021).

The 'return' is the amount earned after tax over the last twelve months. Another way to think of that is that for every $1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn $0.10 in profit.

What Is The Relationship Between ROE And 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. 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 10% ROE

To begin with, Mueller Water Products seems to have a respectable ROE. Further, the company's ROE is similar to the industry average of 10%. This probably goes some way in explaining Mueller Water Products' moderate 6.7% growth over the past five years amongst other factors.

As a next step, we compared Mueller Water Products' net income growth with the industry and were disappointed to see that the company's growth is lower than the industry average growth of 8.5% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth
NYSE:MWA Past Earnings Growth January 19th 2022

Earnings growth is a huge factor in stock valuation. What investors need to determine next is if the expected earnings growth, or the lack of it, is already built into the share price. Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. Is MWA fairly valued? This infographic on the company's intrinsic value has everything you need to know.

Is Mueller Water Products Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

With a three-year median payout ratio of 45% (implying that the company retains 55% of its profits), it seems that Mueller Water Products is reinvesting efficiently in a way that it sees respectable amount growth in its earnings and pays a dividend that's well covered.

Besides, Mueller Water Products has been paying dividends for at least ten years or more. This shows that the company is committed to sharing profits with its shareholders. Upon studying the latest analysts' consensus data, we found that the company is expected to keep paying out approximately 36% of its profits over the next three years.

Conclusion

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 a good amount of growth in its earnings. That being so, the latest analyst forecasts show that the company will continue to see an expansion in its earnings. 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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