# The J. M. Smucker Company's (NYSE:SJM) Stock Going Strong But Fundamentals Look Weak: What Implications Could This Have On The Stock?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
November 24, 2021

Most readers would already be aware that J. M. Smucker's (NYSE:SJM) stock increased significantly by 8.7% over the past month. However, in this article, we decided to focus on its weak fundamentals, as long-term financial performance of a business is what ultimatley dictates market outcomes. 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.

Check out our latest analysis for J. M. Smucker

### How Do You 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 J. M. Smucker is:

9.7% = US\$793m ÷ US\$8.2b (Based on the trailing twelve months to July 2021).

The 'return' is the amount earned after tax over the last twelve months. So, this means that for every \$1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of \$0.10.

### What Is The Relationship Between ROE And Earnings Growth?

We have already established that ROE serves as an efficient profit-generating gauge for a company's future earnings. We now need to evaluate how much profit the company reinvests or "retains" for future growth which then gives us an idea about the growth potential of the company. Assuming all else is equal, companies that have both a higher return on equity and higher profit retention are usually the ones that have a higher growth rate when compared to companies that don't have the same features.

### J. M. Smucker's Earnings Growth And 9.7% ROE

At first glance, J. M. Smucker's ROE doesn't look very promising. However, given that the company's ROE is similar to the average industry ROE of 11%, we may spare it some thought. However, J. M. Smucker has seen a flattish net income growth over the past five years, which is not saying much. Remember, the company's ROE is not particularly great to begin with. Hence, this provides some context to the flat earnings growth seen by the company.

As a next step, we compared J. M. Smucker's net income growth with the industry and were disappointed to see that the company's growth is lower than the industry average growth of 2.7% in the same period.

The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. The investor should try to establish if the expected growth or decline in earnings, whichever the case may be, is priced in. Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. What is SJM worth today? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether SJM is currently mispriced by the market.

### Is J. M. Smucker Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

J. M. Smucker has a high three-year median payout ratio of 51% (or a retention ratio of 49%), meaning that the company is paying most of its profits as dividends to its shareholders. This does go some way in explaining why there's been no growth in its earnings.

Additionally, J. M. Smucker 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. 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 10%.

### Summary

Overall, we would be extremely cautious before making any decision on J. M. Smucker. The company has seen a lack of earnings growth as a result of retaining very little profits and whatever little it does retain, is being reinvested at a very low rate of return. Having said that, looking at the current analyst estimates, we found that the company's earnings are expected to gain momentum. To know more about the company's future earnings growth forecasts take a look at this free report on analyst forecasts for the company to find out more.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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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### Simply Wall St

Simply Wall St is focused on providing unbiased, high-quality research coverage on every listed company in the world. Our research team consists of data scientists and multiple equity analysts with over two decades worth of financial markets experience between them.