Stock Analysis

# Applied Materials, Inc.'s (NASDAQ:AMAT) Stock Is Going Strong: Is the Market Following Fundamentals?

Applied Materials (NASDAQ:AMAT) has had a great run on the share market with its stock up by a significant 13% over the last month. 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 Applied Materials' ROE in this article.

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.

Check out our latest analysis for Applied Materials

## How Do You Calculate Return On Equity?

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 Applied Materials is:

40% = US\$7.3b ÷ US\$18b (Based on the trailing twelve months to April 2024).

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 \$0.40 in profit.

## What Is The Relationship Between ROE And Earnings Growth?

Thus far, we have learned that ROE measures how efficiently a company is generating its profits. 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.

## Applied Materials' Earnings Growth And 40% ROE

Firstly, we acknowledge that Applied Materials has a significantly high ROE. Second, a comparison with the average ROE reported by the industry of 15% also doesn't go unnoticed by us. As a result, Applied Materials' exceptional 20% 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 Applied Materials' reported growth was lower than the industry growth of 31% over the last few years, which is not something we like to see.

Earnings growth is a huge factor in stock valuation. What investors need to determine next is if the expected earnings growth, or the lack of it, is already built into the share price. By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. One good indicator of expected earnings growth is the P/E ratio which determines the price the market is willing to pay for a stock based on its earnings prospects. So, you may want to check if Applied Materials is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.

## Is Applied Materials Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

Applied Materials' ' three-year median payout ratio is on the lower side at 15% implying that it is retaining a higher percentage (85%) 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.

Besides, Applied Materials has been paying dividends for at least ten years or more. This shows that the company is committed to sharing profits with its shareholders. Upon studying the latest analysts' consensus data, we found that the company's future payout ratio is expected to rise to 18% over the next three years. However, the company's ROE is not expected to change by much despite the higher expected payout ratio.

## Conclusion

On the whole, we feel that Applied Materials' performance has been quite good. Particularly, we like that the company is reinvesting heavily into its business, and at a high rate of return. As a result, the decent growth in its earnings is not surprising. Having said that, the company's earnings growth is expected to slow down, as forecasted in the current analyst estimates. 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.

### Valuation is complex, but we're helping make it simple.

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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.

### About NasdaqGS:AMAT

#### Applied Materials

Engages in the provision of manufacturing equipment, services, and software to the semiconductor, display, and related industries.

Flawless balance sheet with solid track record.