It is hard to get excited after looking at Schaffer's (ASX:SFC) recent performance, when its stock has declined 11% over the past three months. However, stock prices are usually driven by a company’s financial performance over the long term, which in this case looks quite promising. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Schaffer's ROE today.
Return on equity or ROE is a key measure used to assess how efficiently a company's management is utilizing the company's capital. Put another way, it reveals the company's success at turning shareholder investments into profits.
How Is ROE Calculated?
The formula for ROE is:
Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders' Equity
So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Schaffer is:
17% = AU$27m ÷ AU$156m (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2021).
The 'return' is the yearly profit. That means that for every A$1 worth of shareholders' equity, the company generated A$0.17 in profit.
What Is The Relationship Between ROE And 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.
Schaffer's Earnings Growth And 17% ROE
To begin with, Schaffer seems to have a respectable ROE. Further, the company's ROE is similar to the industry average of 17%. Consequently, this likely laid the ground for the impressive net income growth of 27% seen over the past five years by Schaffer. However, there could also be other drivers behind this growth. For example, it is possible that the company's management has made some good strategic decisions, or that the company has a low payout ratio.
As a next step, we compared Schaffer's net income growth with the industry and found that the company has a similar growth figure when compared with the industry average growth rate of 27% in the same period.
Earnings growth is an important metric to consider when valuing a stock. 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. If you're wondering about Schaffer's's valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.
Is Schaffer Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?
Schaffer's three-year median payout ratio is a pretty moderate 41%, meaning the company retains 59% of its income. So it seems that Schaffer is reinvesting efficiently in a way that it sees impressive growth in its earnings (discussed above) and pays a dividend that's well covered.
Moreover, Schaffer is determined to keep sharing its profits with shareholders which we infer from its long history of paying a dividend for at least ten years.
Overall, we are quite pleased with Schaffer's 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. If the company continues to grow its earnings the way it has, that could have a positive impact on its share price given how earnings per share influence long-term share prices. Not to forget, share price outcomes are also dependent on the potential risks a company may face. So it is important for investors to be aware of the risks involved in the business. You can see the 2 risks we have identified for Schaffer by visiting our risks dashboard for free on our platform here.
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.
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.