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Could The Market Be Wrong About Robert Half International Inc. (NYSE:RHI) Given Its Attractive Financial Prospects?

It is hard to get excited after looking at Robert Half International's (NYSE:RHI) recent performance, when its stock has declined 3.8% over the past three months. However, a closer look at its sound financials might cause you to think again. Given that fundamentals usually drive long-term market outcomes, the company is worth looking at. In this article, we decided to focus on Robert Half International's ROE.

ROE or return on equity is a useful tool to assess how effectively a company can generate returns on the investment it received from its shareholders. In other words, it is a profitability ratio which measures the rate of return on the capital provided by the company's shareholders.

View our latest analysis for Robert Half International

How Do You Calculate Return On Equity?

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 Robert Half International is:

45% = US$678m ÷ US$1.5b (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2022).

The 'return' is the profit over the last twelve months. Another way to think of that is that for every $1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn $0.45 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. 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. Assuming everything else remains unchanged, the higher the ROE and profit retention, the higher the growth rate of a company compared to companies that don't necessarily bear these characteristics.

Robert Half International's Earnings Growth And 45% ROE

First thing first, we like that Robert Half International has an impressive ROE. Additionally, the company's ROE is higher compared to the industry average of 17% which is quite remarkable. This likely paved the way for the modest 13% net income growth seen by Robert Half International over the past five years. growth

Next, on comparing Robert Half International's net income growth with the industry, we found that the company's reported growth is similar to the industry average growth rate of 13% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

Earnings growth is a huge factor in stock valuation. The investor should try to establish if the expected growth or decline in earnings, whichever the case may be, is priced in. This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. Is RHI fairly valued? This infographic on the company's intrinsic value has everything you need to know.

Is Robert Half International Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

Robert Half International has a healthy combination of a moderate three-year median payout ratio of 32% (or a retention ratio of 68%) and a respectable amount of growth in earnings as we saw above, meaning that the company has been making efficient use of its profits.

Besides, Robert Half International has been paying dividends for at least ten years or more. This shows that the company is committed to sharing profits with its shareholders. Upon studying the latest analysts' consensus data, we found that the company's future payout ratio is expected to rise to 41% over the next three years. Accordingly, the expected increase in the payout ratio explains the expected decline in the company's ROE to 27%, over the same period.

Conclusion

In total, we are pretty happy with Robert Half International'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. Having said that, on studying current analyst estimates, we were concerned to see that while the company has grown its earnings in the past, analysts expect its earnings to shrink 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.

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.

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