# Is Brown & Brown, Inc.'s (NYSE:BRO) Stock's Recent Performance Being Led By Its Attractive Financial Prospects?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
April 21, 2022

Brown & Brown (NYSE:BRO) has had a great run on the share market with its stock up by a significant 11% over the last three months. 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. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Brown & Brown's ROE today.

Return on equity or ROE is an important factor to be considered by a shareholder because it tells them how effectively their capital is being reinvested. Simply put, it is used to assess the profitability of a company in relation to its equity capital.

View our latest analysis for Brown & Brown

### How Do You Calculate Return On Equity?

The formula for return on equity is:

Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders' Equity

So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Brown & Brown is:

14% = US\$587m ÷ US\$4.2b (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2021).

The 'return' is the amount earned after tax over the last twelve months. Another way to think of that is that for every \$1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn \$0.14 in profit.

### Why Is ROE Important For Earnings Growth?

So far, we've learned that ROE is a measure of a company's profitability. 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.

### A Side By Side comparison of Brown & Brown's Earnings Growth And 14% ROE

To begin with, Brown & Brown seems to have a respectable ROE. Further, the company's ROE compares quite favorably to the industry average of 11%. This certainly adds some context to Brown & Brown's decent 14% net income growth seen over the past five years.

Next, on comparing Brown & Brown's net income growth with the industry, we found that the company's reported growth is similar to the industry average growth rate of 13% 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. By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. If you're wondering about Brown & Brown's's valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.

### Is Brown & Brown Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

In Brown & Brown's case, its respectable earnings growth can probably be explained by its low three-year median payout ratio of 22% (or a retention ratio of 78%), which suggests that the company is investing most of its profits to grow its business.

Additionally, Brown & Brown 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. Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company is expected to drop to 16% over the next three years. Despite the lower expected payout ratio, the company's ROE is not expected to change by much.

### Summary

In total, we are pretty happy with Brown & Brown'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 company's future earnings growth forecasts take a look at this free report on analyst forecasts for the company to find out more.

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