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Chevron Corporation's (NYSE:CVX) Stock Is Rallying But Financials Look Ambiguous: Will The Momentum Continue?

·4-min read

Chevron (NYSE:CVX) has had a great run on the share market with its stock up by a significant 27% over the last three months. However, we wonder if the company's inconsistent financials would have any adverse impact on the current share price momentum. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Chevron's ROE today.

Return on Equity or ROE is a test of how effectively a company is growing its value and managing investors’ money. Put another way, it reveals the company's success at turning shareholder investments into profits.

See our latest analysis for Chevron

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 Chevron is:

14% = US$21b ÷ US$147b (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2022).

The 'return' is the profit over the last twelve months. That means that for every $1 worth of shareholders' equity, the company generated $0.14 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. 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.

Chevron's Earnings Growth And 14% ROE

At first glance, Chevron seems to have a decent ROE. Be that as it may, the company's ROE is still quite lower than the industry average of 18%. Needless to say, the 7.8% net income shrink rate seen by Chevronover the past five years is a huge dampener. Not to forget, the company does have a high ROE to begin with, just that it is lower than the industry average. Therefore, the shrinking earnings could be the result of other factors. For example, it could be that the company has a high payout ratio or the business has allocated capital poorly, for instance.

Next, on comparing with the industry net income growth, we found that Chevron's earnings seems to be shrinking at a similar rate as the industry which shrunk at a rate of a rate of 7.1% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

Earnings growth is an important metric to consider when valuing a stock. The investor should try to establish if the expected growth or decline in earnings, whichever the case may be, is priced in. By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. What is CVX worth today? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether CVX is currently mispriced by the market.

Is Chevron Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

With a high three-year median payout ratio of 62% (implying that 38% of the profits are retained), most of Chevron's profits are being paid to shareholders, which explains the company's shrinking earnings. With only very little left to reinvest into the business, growth in earnings is far from likely. To know the 3 risks we have identified for Chevron visit our risks dashboard for free.

In addition, Chevron 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 51% of its profits over the next three years. Accordingly, forecasts suggest that Chevron's future ROE will be 13% which is again, similar to the current ROE.

Summary

In total, we're a bit ambivalent about Chevron's performance. On the one hand, the company does have a decent rate of return, however, its earnings growth number is quite disappointing and as discussed earlier, the low retained earnings is hampering the growth. Additionally, the latest industry analyst forecasts show that analysts expect the company's earnings to continue to shrink in the future. 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.

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.