Stock Analysis

Is Weakness In Devon Energy Corporation (NYSE:DVN) Stock A Sign That The Market Could be Wrong Given Its Strong Financial Prospects?

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NYSE:DVN
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It is hard to get excited after looking at Devon Energy's (NYSE:DVN) recent performance, when its stock has declined 15% over the past three months. 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. In this article, we decided to focus on Devon Energy'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. In other words, it is a profitability ratio which measures the rate of return on the capital provided by the company's shareholders.

Check out our latest analysis for Devon Energy

How To 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 Devon Energy is:

32% = US$3.8b ÷ US$12b (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2023).

The 'return' is the yearly profit. One way to conceptualize this is that for each $1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made $0.32 in profit.

What Has ROE Got To Do With Earnings Growth?

We have already established that ROE serves as an efficient profit-generating gauge for a company's future earnings. Based on how much of its profits the company chooses to reinvest or "retain", we are then able to evaluate a company's future ability to generate profits. 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.

Devon Energy's Earnings Growth And 32% ROE

First thing first, we like that Devon Energy has an impressive ROE. Additionally, the company's ROE is higher compared to the industry average of 23% which is quite remarkable. Under the circumstances, Devon Energy's considerable five year net income growth of 54% was to be expected.

We then compared Devon Energy's 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 33% in the same 5-year period.

past-earnings-growth
NYSE:DVN Past Earnings Growth December 3rd 2023

The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. What investors need to determine next is if the expected earnings growth, or the lack of it, is already built into the share price. This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. Is DVN fairly valued? This infographic on the company's intrinsic value has everything you need to know.

Is Devon Energy Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

Devon Energy's significant three-year median payout ratio of 50% (where it is retaining only 50% of its income) suggests that the company has been able to achieve a high growth in earnings despite returning most of its income to shareholders.

Additionally, Devon Energy has paid dividends over a period of at least ten 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's future payout ratio is expected to drop to 34% over the next three years. Still forecasts suggest that Devon Energy's future ROE will drop to 21% even though the the company's payout ratio is expected to decrease. This suggests that there could be other factors could driving the anticipated decline in the company's ROE.

Conclusion

In total, we are pretty happy with Devon Energy's performance. In particular, its high ROE is quite noteworthy and also the probable explanation behind its considerable earnings growth. Yet, the company is retaining a small portion of its profits. Which means that the company has been able to grow its earnings in spite of it, so that's not too bad. That being so, according to the latest industry analyst forecasts, the company's earnings are expected to shrink in the future. 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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