It is hard to get excited after looking at International General Insurance Holdings' (NASDAQ:IGIC) recent performance, when its stock has declined 4.3% over the past month. We, however decided to study the company's financials to determine if they have got anything to do with the price decline. Long-term fundamentals are usually what drive market outcomes, so it's worth paying close attention. Specifically, we decided to study International General Insurance Holdings' 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 short, ROE shows the profit each dollar generates with respect to its shareholder investments.
How Is ROE Calculated?
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 International General Insurance Holdings is:
6.6% = US$25m ÷ US$380m (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2020).
The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. That means that for every $1 worth of shareholders' equity, the company generated $0.07 in profit.
Why Is ROE Important For 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.
A Side By Side comparison of International General Insurance Holdings' Earnings Growth And 6.6% ROE
When you first look at it, International General Insurance Holdings' ROE doesn't look that attractive. Next, when compared to the average industry ROE of 9.0%, the company's ROE leaves us feeling even less enthusiastic. Therefore, it might not be wrong to say that the five year net income decline of 8.2% seen by International General Insurance Holdings was probably the result of it having a lower ROE. However, there could also be other factors causing the earnings to decline. For example, it is possible that the business has allocated capital poorly or that the company has a very high payout ratio.
That being said, we compared International General Insurance Holdings' performance with the industry and were concerned when we found that while the company has shrunk its earnings, the industry has grown its earnings at a rate of 5.8% in the same period.
Earnings growth is a huge factor in stock valuation. 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. One good indicator of expected earnings growth is the P/E ratio which determines the price the market is willing to pay for a stock based on its earnings prospects. So, you may want to check if International General Insurance Holdings is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.
Is International General Insurance Holdings Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?
Despite having a normal three-year median payout ratio of 46% (where it is retaining 54% of its profits), International General Insurance Holdings has seen a decline 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.
Only recently, International General Insurance Holdings stated paying a dividend. This likely means that the management might have concluded that its shareholders have a strong preference for dividends.
In total, we're a bit ambivalent about International General Insurance Holdings' performance. While the company does have a high rate of profit retention, its low rate of return is probably hampering its earnings growth. That being so, the latest industry analyst forecasts show that the analysts are expecting to see a huge improvement in the company's earnings growth rate. 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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