Is Dow Inc.'s (NYSE:DOW) Stock's Recent Performance Being Led By Its Attractive Financial Prospects?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
March 19, 2022
NYSE:DOW
Source: Shutterstock

Most readers would already be aware that Dow's (NYSE:DOW) stock increased significantly by 15% 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. Specifically, we decided to study Dow's ROE in this article.

ROE or return on equity is a useful tool to assess how effectively a company can generate returns on the investment it received from its shareholders. In other words, it is a profitability ratio which measures the rate of return on the capital provided by the company's shareholders.

View our latest analysis for Dow

How To 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 Dow is:

34% = US$6.4b ÷ US$19b (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2021).

The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. One way to conceptualize this is that for each $1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made $0.34 in profit.

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. 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. 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.

Dow's Earnings Growth And 34% ROE

To begin with, Dow has a pretty high ROE which is interesting. Second, a comparison with the average ROE reported by the industry of 15% also doesn't go unnoticed by us. Under the circumstances, Dow's considerable five year net income growth of 32% was to be expected.

As a next step, we compared Dow's net income growth with the industry, and pleasingly, we found that the growth seen by the company is higher than the average industry growth of 5.9%.

past-earnings-growth
NYSE:DOW Past Earnings Growth March 19th 2022

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. What is DOW worth today? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether DOW is currently mispriced by the market.

Is Dow Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

The three-year median payout ratio for Dow is 36%, which is moderately low. The company is retaining the remaining 64%. This suggests that its dividend is well covered, and given the high growth we discussed above, it looks like Dow is reinvesting its earnings efficiently.

Additionally, Dow has paid dividends over a period of three 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 rise to 44% over the next three years. Consequently, the higher expected payout ratio explains the decline in the company's expected ROE (to 21%) over the same period.

Summary

On the whole, we feel that Dow's performance has been quite good. Specifically, we like that the company is reinvesting a huge chunk of its profits at a high rate of return. This of course has caused the company to see substantial growth in its earnings. That being so, according to the latest industry analyst forecasts, the company's earnings are expected to shrink in the future. 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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