Southern Copper's (NYSE:SCCO) stock is up by 9.1% over the past three months. Since the market usually pay for a company’s long-term financial health, we decided to study the company’s fundamentals to see if they could be influencing the market. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Southern Copper's ROE today.
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?
ROE 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 Southern Copper is:
39% = US$3.2b ÷ US$8.2b (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 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 $0.39 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.
Southern Copper's Earnings Growth And 39% ROE
First thing first, we like that Southern Copper has an impressive ROE. Second, a comparison with the average ROE reported by the industry of 20% also doesn't go unnoticed by us. Under the circumstances, Southern Copper's considerable five year net income growth of 24% was to be expected.
Next, on comparing with the industry net income growth, we found that Southern Copper's growth is quite high when compared to the industry average growth of 15% in the same period, which is great to see.
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. Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. Has the market priced in the future outlook for SCCO? You can find out in our latest intrinsic value infographic research report.
Is Southern Copper Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?
The high three-year median payout ratio of 83% (implying that it keeps only 17% of profits) for Southern Copper suggests that the company's growth wasn't really hampered despite it returning most of the earnings to its shareholders.
Additionally, Southern Copper 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. Based on the latest analysts' estimates, we found that the company's future payout ratio over the next three years is expected to hold steady at 80%. As a result, Southern Copper's ROE is not expected to change by much either, which we inferred from the analyst estimate of 35% for future ROE.
On the whole, we feel that Southern Copper's performance has been quite good. We are particularly impressed by the considerable earnings growth posted by the company, which was likely backed by its high ROE. While the company is paying out most of its earnings as dividends, it has been able to grow its earnings in spite of it, so that's probably a good sign. Having said that, on studying current analyst estimates, we were concerned to see that while the company has grown its earnings in the past, analysts expect its earnings 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.
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.