Globe Life's (NYSE:GL) stock is up by a considerable 22% over the past month. Given that stock prices are usually aligned with a company's financial performance in the long-term, we decided to study its financial indicators more closely to see if they had a hand to play in the recent price move. In this article, we decided to focus on Globe Life'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.
How Do You Calculate Return On Equity?
The formula for ROE is:
Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders' Equity
So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Globe Life is:
8.7% = US$715m ÷ US$8.2b (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2020).
The 'return' is the income the business earned over the last year. That means that for every $1 worth of shareholders' equity, the company generated $0.09 in profit.
Why Is ROE Important For Earnings Growth?
Thus far, we have learned that ROE measures how efficiently a company is generating its profits. 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 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.
Globe Life's Earnings Growth And 8.7% ROE
At first glance, Globe Life's ROE doesn't look very promising. However, given that the company's ROE is similar to the average industry ROE of 8.3%, we may spare it some thought. Having said that, Globe Life has shown a modest net income growth of 8.2% over the past five years. Given the slightly low ROE, it is likely that there could be some other aspects that are driving this growth. Such as - high earnings retention or an efficient management in place.
Next, on comparing with the industry net income growth, we found that Globe Life's growth is quite high when compared to the industry average growth of 6.8% in the same period, which is great to see.
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. Is GL fairly valued? This infographic on the company's intrinsic value has everything you need to know.
Is Globe Life Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?
Globe Life has a low three-year median payout ratio of 10%, meaning that the company retains the remaining 90% of its profits. This suggests that the management is reinvesting most of the profits to grow the business.
Additionally, Globe Life has paid dividends over a period of at least ten years which means that the company is pretty serious about sharing its profits with shareholders. Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company over the next three years is expected to be approximately 10%. As a result, Globe Life's ROE is not expected to change by much either, which we inferred from the analyst estimate of 9.5% for future ROE.
In total, it does look like Globe Life has some positive aspects to its business. Despite its low rate of return, the fact that the company reinvests a very high portion of its profits into its business, no doubt contributed to its high earnings growth. That being so, a study of the latest analyst forecasts show that the company is expected to see a slowdown in its future earnings growth. 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.
This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. 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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