Woodward, Inc. (NASDAQ:WWD) Stock's Been Sliding But Fundamentals Look Decent: Will The Market Correct The Share Price In The Future?

·4 min read

Woodward (NASDAQ:WWD) has had a rough three months with its share price down 17%. But if you pay close attention, you might find that its key financial indicators look quite decent, which could mean that the stock could potentially rise in the long-term given how markets usually reward more resilient long-term fundamentals. Specifically, we decided to study Woodward'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. Simply put, it is used to assess the profitability of a company in relation to its equity capital.

See our latest analysis for Woodward

How Is ROE Calculated?

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 Woodward is:

8.6% = US$177m ÷ US$2.1b (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2022).

The 'return' is the income the business earned over the last year. One way to conceptualize this is that for each $1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made $0.09 in profit.

Why Is ROE Important For 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. 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.

Woodward's Earnings Growth And 8.6% ROE

At first glance, Woodward's ROE doesn't look very promising. However, its ROE is similar to the industry average of 10%, so we won't completely dismiss the company. We can see that Woodward has grown at a five year net income growth average rate of 2.5%, which is a bit on the lower side. Remember, the company's ROE is not particularly great to begin with. So this could also be one of the reasons behind the company's low growth in earnings.

As a next step, we compared Woodward'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 2.9% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

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. This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. What is WWD worth today? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether WWD is currently mispriced by the market.

Is Woodward Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

Woodward has a low three-year median payout ratio of 15% (meaning, the company keeps the remaining 85% of profits) which means that the company is retaining more of its earnings. However, the low earnings growth number doesn't reflect this as high growth usually follows high profit retention. Therefore, there might be some other reasons to explain the lack in that respect. For example, the business could be in decline.

In addition, Woodward has been paying dividends over a period of at least ten years suggesting that keeping up dividend payments is way more important to the management even if it comes at the cost of business growth. Upon studying the latest analysts' consensus data, we found that the company is expected to keep paying out approximately 18% of its profits over the next three years.

Summary

Overall, we feel that Woodward certainly does have some positive factors to consider. Namely, its respectable earnings growth, which it achieved due to it retaining most of its profits. However, given the low ROE, investors may not be benefitting from all that reinvestment after all. That being so, the latest analyst forecasts show that the company will continue to see an expansion in its earnings. 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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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.

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