Most readers would already be aware that Assurant's (NYSE:AIZ) stock increased significantly by 12% over the past three months. Given that the market rewards strong financials in the long-term, we wonder if that is the case in this instance. In this article, we decided to focus on Assurant's ROE.
Return on equity or ROE is a key measure used to assess how efficiently a company's management is utilizing the company's capital. Simply put, it is used to assess the profitability of a company in relation to its equity capital.
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 Assurant is:
12% = US$611m ÷ US$5.0b (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2022).
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 Is The Relationship Between ROE And Earnings Growth?
Thus far, we have learned that ROE measures how efficiently a company is generating its profits. 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. 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.
Assurant's Earnings Growth And 12% ROE
To start with, Assurant's ROE looks acceptable. Further, the company's ROE is similar to the industry average of 12%. Consequently, this likely laid the ground for the decent growth of 7.8% seen over the past five years by Assurant.
Next, on comparing with the industry net income growth, we found that Assurant's reported growth was lower than the industry growth of 13% in the same period, which is not something we like to see.
Earnings growth is a huge factor in stock valuation. The investor should try to establish if the expected growth or decline in earnings, whichever the case may be, is priced in. This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. What is AIZ worth today? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether AIZ is currently mispriced by the market.
Is Assurant Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?
Assurant has a healthy combination of a moderate three-year median payout ratio of 31% (or a retention ratio of 69%) and a respectable amount of growth in earnings as we saw above, meaning that the company has been making efficient use of its profits.
Additionally, Assurant 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. Existing analyst estimates suggest that the company's future payout ratio is expected to drop to 19% over the next three years. Despite the lower expected payout ratio, the company's ROE is not expected to change by much.
In total, we are pretty happy with Assurant's performance. In particular, it's great to see that the company is investing heavily into its business and along with a high rate of return, that has resulted in a respectable growth in its earnings. Having said that, looking at the current analyst estimates, we found that the company's earnings are expected to gain momentum. 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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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.