Is The J. M. Smucker Company's(NYSE:SJM) Recent Stock Performance Tethered To Its Strong Fundamentals?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
March 19, 2021

J. M. Smucker's (NYSE:SJM) stock is up by a considerable 9.6% over the past month. Since the market usually pay for a company’s long-term fundamentals, we decided to study the company’s key performance indicators to see if they could be influencing the market. Specifically, we decided to study J. M. Smucker's 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 simpler terms, it measures the profitability of a company in relation to shareholder's equity.

View our latest analysis for J. M. Smucker

How Do You 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 J. M. Smucker is:

12% = US\$956m ÷ US\$8.2b (Based on the trailing twelve months to January 2021).

The 'return' is the income the business earned over the last year. Another way to think of that is that for every \$1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn \$0.12 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.

J. M. Smucker's Earnings Growth And 12% ROE

To begin with, J. M. Smucker seems to have a respectable ROE. And on comparing with the industry, we found that the the average industry ROE is similar at 10%. Despite the modest returns, J. M. Smucker's five year net income growth was quite low, averaging at only 4.5%. A few likely reasons that could be keeping earnings growth low are - the company has a high payout ratio or the business has allocated capital poorly, for instance.

When you consider the fact that the industry earnings have shrunk at a rate of 2.6% in the same period, the company's net income growth is pretty remarkable.

Earnings growth is an important metric to consider when valuing a stock. The investor should try to establish if the expected growth or decline in earnings, whichever the case may be, is priced in. By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. Has the market priced in the future outlook for SJM? You can find out in our latest intrinsic value infographic research report.

Is J. M. Smucker Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

Despite having a normal three-year median payout ratio of 47% (or a retention ratio of 53% over the past three years, J. M. Smucker has seen very little growth in earnings as we saw above. So there might be other factors at play here which could potentially be hampering growth. For example, the business has faced some headwinds.

Moreover, J. M. Smucker has been paying dividends for at least ten years or more suggesting that management must have perceived that the shareholders prefer dividends over earnings growth. Upon studying the latest analysts' consensus data, we found that the company is expected to keep paying out approximately 44% of its profits over the next three years. Therefore, the company's future ROE is also not expected to change by much with analysts predicting an ROE of 11%.

Conclusion

Overall, we are quite pleased with J. M. Smucker's performance. Particularly, we like that the company is reinvesting heavily into its business, and at a high rate of return. Unsurprisingly, this has led to an impressive earnings growth. That being so, a study of the latest analyst forecasts show that the company is expected to see a slowdown in its future earnings growth. 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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