Eagle Materials Inc.'s (NYSE:EXP) Stock Is Going Strong: Have Financials A Role To Play?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
August 29, 2021
NYSE:EXP
Source: Shutterstock

Most readers would already be aware that Eagle Materials' (NYSE:EXP) stock increased significantly by 10.0% over the past month. We wonder if and what role the company's financials play in that price change as a company's long-term fundamentals usually dictate market outcomes. In this article, we decided to focus on Eagle Materials' ROE.

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. 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 Eagle Materials

How To 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 Eagle Materials is:

24% = US$332m ÷ US$1.4b (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2021).

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 $0.24 in profit.

What Has ROE Got To Do With 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. 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.

A Side By Side comparison of Eagle Materials' Earnings Growth And 24% ROE

To begin with, Eagle Materials has a pretty high ROE which is interesting. Additionally, the company's ROE is higher compared to the industry average of 13% which is quite remarkable. However, for some reason, the higher returns aren't reflected in Eagle Materials' meagre five year net income growth average of 2.4%. That's a bit unexpected from a company which has such a high rate of return. Such a scenario is likely to take place when a company pays out a huge portion of its earnings as dividends, or is faced with competitive pressures.

Next, on comparing with the industry net income growth, we found that Eagle Materials' reported growth was lower than the industry growth of 11% in the same period, which is not something we like to see.

past-earnings-growth
NYSE:EXP Past Earnings Growth August 29th 2021

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. This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. If you're wondering about Eagle Materials''s valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.

Is Eagle Materials Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

Eagle Materials has a low three-year median payout ratio of 7.2% (meaning, the company keeps the remaining 93% of profits) which means that the company is retaining more of its earnings. This should be reflected in its earnings growth number, but that's not the case. So there might be other factors at play here which could potentially be hampering growth. For example, the business has faced some headwinds.

Additionally, Eagle Materials 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. Existing analyst estimates suggest that the company's future payout ratio is expected to drop to 5.2% 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, it does look like Eagle Materials has some positive aspects to its business. Yet, the low earnings growth is a bit concerning, especially given that the company has a high rate of return and is reinvesting ma huge portion of its profits. By the looks of it, there could be some other factors, not necessarily in control of the business, that's preventing growth. 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.

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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.
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