Forward Air Corporation's (NASDAQ:FWRD) Stock's On An Uptrend: Are Strong Financials Guiding The Market?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
January 09, 2022
NasdaqGS:FWRD
Source: Shutterstock

Most readers would already be aware that Forward Air's (NASDAQ:FWRD) stock increased significantly by 34% 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. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Forward Air's ROE today.

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.

See our latest analysis for Forward Air

How Is ROE Calculated?

Return on equity 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 Forward Air is:

17% = US$93m ÷ US$556m (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2021).

The 'return' is the profit over the last twelve months. That means that for every $1 worth of shareholders' equity, the company generated $0.17 in profit.

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. 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. 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 Forward Air's Earnings Growth And 17% ROE

To begin with, Forward Air seems to have a respectable ROE. Further, the company's ROE is similar to the industry average of 17%. This certainly adds some context to Forward Air's moderate 6.8% net income growth seen over the past five years.

We then performed a comparison between Forward Air's net income growth with the industry, which revealed that the company's growth is similar to the average industry growth of 6.8% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth
NasdaqGS:FWRD Past Earnings Growth January 9th 2022

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). By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. Is FWRD fairly valued? This infographic on the company's intrinsic value has everything you need to know.

Is Forward Air Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

Forward Air has a low three-year median payout ratio of 25%, meaning that the company retains the remaining 75% of its profits. This suggests that the management is reinvesting most of the profits to grow the business.

Besides, Forward Air 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 drop to 20% over the next three years. Accordingly, the expected drop in the payout ratio explains the expected increase in the company's ROE to 22%, over the same period.

Summary

On the whole, we feel that Forward Air'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, the latest analyst forecasts show that the company will continue to see an expansion in its earnings. 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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