Are Robust Financials Driving The Recent Rally In Big Lots, Inc.'s (NYSE:BIG) Stock?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
April 08, 2021
NYSE:BIG

Big Lots' (NYSE:BIG) stock is up by a considerable 45% over the past three months. Given the company's impressive performance, we decided to study its financial indicators more closely as a company's financial health over the long-term usually dictates market outcomes. Specifically, we decided to study Big Lots' 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. Put another way, it reveals the company's success at turning shareholder investments into profits.

See our latest analysis for Big Lots

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 Big Lots is:

49% = US$629m ÷ US$1.3b (Based on the trailing twelve months to January 2021).

The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. So, this means that for every $1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of $0.49.

What Has ROE Got To Do With 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. 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 Big Lots' Earnings Growth And 49% ROE

To begin with, Big Lots has a pretty high ROE which is interesting. Second, a comparison with the average ROE reported by the industry of 24% also doesn't go unnoticed by us. As a result, Big Lots' exceptional 32% net income growth seen over the past five years, doesn't come as a surprise.

Next, on comparing with the industry net income growth, we found that Big Lots' growth is quite high when compared to the industry average growth of 9.8% in the same period, which is great to see.

past-earnings-growth
NYSE:BIG Past Earnings Growth April 8th 2021

Earnings growth is a huge factor in stock valuation. It’s important for an investor to know whether the market has priced in the company's expected earnings growth (or decline). Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. What is BIG worth today? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether BIG is currently mispriced by the market.

Is Big Lots Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

Big Lots' ' three-year median payout ratio is on the lower side at 23% implying that it is retaining a higher percentage (77%) of its profits. So it seems like the management is reinvesting profits heavily to grow its business and this reflects in its earnings growth number.

Additionally, Big Lots has paid dividends over a period of seven 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 over the next three years is expected to be approximately 19%. However, Big Lots' future ROE is expected to decline to 22% despite there being not much change anticipated in the company's payout ratio.

Conclusion

In total, we are pretty happy with Big Lots' performance. 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. 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. 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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