Schneider National (NYSE:SNDR) has had a rough three months with its share price down 15%. However, stock prices are usually driven by a company’s financials over the long term, which in this case look pretty respectable. Specifically, we decided to study Schneider National's ROE in this article.
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 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 Schneider National is:
11% = US$223m ÷ US$2.1b (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2021).
The 'return' is the yearly profit. Another way to think of that is that for every $1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn $0.11 in profit.
What Has ROE Got To Do With Earnings Growth?
So far, we've learned that ROE is a measure of a company's profitability. Based on how much of its profits the company chooses to reinvest or "retain", we are then able to evaluate a company's future ability to generate profits. 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 Schneider National's Earnings Growth And 11% ROE
At first glance, Schneider National seems to have a decent ROE. Further, the company's ROE is similar to the industry average of 12%. As you might expect, the 2.8% net income decline reported by Schneider National is a bit of a surprise. So, there might be some other aspects that could explain this. These include low earnings retention or poor allocation of capital.
However, when we compared Schneider National's growth with the industry we found that while the company's earnings have been shrinking, the industry has seen an earnings growth of 3.9% in the same period. This is quite worrisome.
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. Has the market priced in the future outlook for SNDR? You can find out in our latest intrinsic value infographic research report.
Is Schneider National Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?
When we piece together Schneider National's low three-year median payout ratio of 21% (where it is retaining 79% of its profits), calculated for the last three-year period, we are puzzled by the lack of growth. This typically shouldn't be the case when a company is retaining most of its earnings. So there could be some other explanations in that regard. For example, the company's business may be deteriorating.
Additionally, Schneider National has paid dividends over a period of four years, which means that the company's management is rather focused on keeping up its dividend payments, regardless of the shrinking earnings. Upon studying the latest analysts' consensus data, we found that the company's future payout ratio is expected to drop to 16% over the next three years. As a result, the expected drop in Schneider National's payout ratio explains the anticipated rise in the company's future ROE to 13%, over the same period.
On the whole, we do feel that Schneider National has some positive attributes. 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. With that said, we studied the latest analyst forecasts and found that while the company has shrunk its earnings in the past, analysts expect its earnings to grow 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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