ZTO Express (Cayman) Inc.'s (NYSE:ZTO) Stock Has Shown Weakness Lately But Financial Prospects Look Decent: Is The Market Wrong?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
May 15, 2022
NYSE:ZTO
Source: Shutterstock

It is hard to get excited after looking at ZTO Express (Cayman)'s (NYSE:ZTO) recent performance, when its stock has declined 17% over the past three months. However, stock prices are usually driven by a company’s financials over the long term, which in this case look pretty respectable. In this article, we decided to focus on ZTO Express (Cayman)'s ROE.

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. Put another way, it reveals the company's success at turning shareholder investments into profits.

Check out our latest analysis for ZTO Express (Cayman)

How Do You Calculate Return On Equity?

The formula for return on equity is:

Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders' Equity

So, based on the above formula, the ROE for ZTO Express (Cayman) is:

9.6% = CN¥4.7b ÷ CN¥49b (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2021).

The 'return' is the yearly profit. That means that for every $1 worth of shareholders' equity, the company generated $0.10 in profit.

What Has ROE Got To Do With Earnings Growth?

We have already established that ROE serves as an efficient profit-generating gauge for a company's future earnings. 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 ZTO Express (Cayman)'s Earnings Growth And 9.6% ROE

When you first look at it, ZTO Express (Cayman)'s ROE doesn't look that attractive. We then compared the company's ROE to the broader industry and were disappointed to see that the ROE is lower than the industry average of 21%. However, the moderate 14% net income growth seen by ZTO Express (Cayman) over the past five years is definitely a positive. We reckon that there could be other factors at play here. For instance, the company has a low payout ratio or is being managed efficiently.

Next, on comparing ZTO Express (Cayman)'s net income growth with the industry, we found that the company's reported growth is similar to the industry average growth rate of 12% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth
NYSE:ZTO Past Earnings Growth May 15th 2022

Earnings growth is an important metric to consider when valuing a stock. What investors need to determine next is if the expected earnings growth, or the lack of it, is already built into the share price. Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. Is ZTO fairly valued? This infographic on the company's intrinsic value has everything you need to know.

Is ZTO Express (Cayman) Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

Conclusion

Overall, we feel that ZTO Express (Cayman) certainly does have some positive factors to consider. Even in spite of the low rate of return, the company has posted impressive earnings growth as a result of reinvesting heavily into its business. With that said, the latest industry analyst forecasts reveal that the company's earnings are expected to accelerate. To know more about the latest analysts predictions for the company, check out this visualization of analyst forecasts for the company.

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