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Horace Mann Educators Corporation's (NYSE:HMN) Stock Has Shown Weakness Lately But Financial Prospects Look Decent: Is The Market Wrong?

·4-min read

It is hard to get excited after looking at Horace Mann Educators' (NYSE:HMN) recent performance, when its stock has declined 6.9% over the past month. However, stock prices are usually driven by a company’s financials over the long term, which in this case look pretty respectable. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Horace Mann Educators' ROE today.

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 simpler terms, it measures the profitability of a company in relation to shareholder's equity.

Check out our latest analysis for Horace Mann Educators

How To Calculate Return On Equity?

ROE 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 Horace Mann Educators is:

7.4% = US$133m ÷ US$1.8b (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2020).

The 'return' is the profit over the last twelve months. That means that for every $1 worth of shareholders' equity, the company generated $0.07 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. We now need to evaluate how much profit the company reinvests or "retains" for future growth which then gives us an idea about the growth potential of the company. 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.

Horace Mann Educators' Earnings Growth And 7.4% ROE

On the face of it, Horace Mann Educators' ROE is not much to talk about. However, its ROE is similar to the industry average of 9.3%, so we won't completely dismiss the company. Having said that, Horace Mann Educators has shown a modest net income growth of 10% over the past five years. Taking into consideration that the ROE is not particularly high, we reckon that there could also be other factors at play which could be influencing the company's growth. For instance, the company has a low payout ratio or is being managed efficiently.

Next, on comparing with the industry net income growth, we found that Horace Mann Educators' growth is quite high when compared to the industry average growth of 8.6% in the same period, which is great to see.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. It’s important for an investor to know whether the market has priced in the company's expected earnings growth (or decline). This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. What is HMN worth today? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether HMN is currently mispriced by the market.

Is Horace Mann Educators Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

Horace Mann Educators has a healthy combination of a moderate three-year median payout ratio of 36% (or a retention ratio of 64%) 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, Horace Mann Educators 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 is expected to keep paying out approximately 42% of its profits over the next three years. Therefore, the company's future ROE is also not expected to change by much with analysts predicting an ROE of 8.1%.

Summary

In total, it does look like Horace Mann Educators has some positive aspects to its business. Even in spite of the low rate of return, the company has posted impressive earnings growth as a result of reinvesting heavily into its business. Having said that, the company's earnings growth is expected to slow down, as forecasted in the current analyst estimates. 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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

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