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nib holdings (ASX:NHF) has had a rough three months with its share price down 5.6%. However, stock prices are usually driven by a company’s financials over the long term, which in this case look pretty respectable. In this article, we decided to focus on nib holdings' 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. In other words, it is a profitability ratio which measures the rate of return on the capital provided by the company's shareholders.
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 nib holdings is:
23% = AU$161m ÷ AU$706m (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2021).
The 'return' is the profit over the last twelve months. That means that for every A$1 worth of shareholders' equity, the company generated A$0.23 in profit.
What Has ROE Got To Do With 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. Assuming all else is equal, companies that have both a higher return on equity and higher profit retention are usually the ones that have a higher growth rate when compared to companies that don't have the same features.
A Side By Side comparison of nib holdings' Earnings Growth And 23% ROE
Firstly, we acknowledge that nib holdings has a significantly high ROE. Second, a comparison with the average ROE reported by the industry of 12% also doesn't go unnoticed by us. However, we are curious as to how the high returns still resulted in a flat growth for nib holdings in the past five years. We reckon that there could be some other factors at play here that's limiting the company's growth. For example, it could be that the company has a high payout ratio or the business has allocated capital poorly, for instance.
We then compared nib holdings' net income growth with the industry and found that the company's growth figure is lower than the average industry growth rate of 2.9% in the same period, which is a bit concerning.
The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. What investors need to determine next is if the expected earnings growth, or the lack of it, is already built into the share price. By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. Is NHF fairly valued? This infographic on the company's intrinsic value has everything you need to know.
Is nib holdings Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?
The high three-year median payout ratio of 70% (meaning, the company retains only 30% of profits) for nib holdings suggests that the company's earnings growth was miniscule as a result of paying out a majority of its earnings.
In addition, nib holdings 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. Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company over the next three years is expected to be approximately 66%. As a result, nib holdings' ROE is not expected to change by much either, which we inferred from the analyst estimate of 21% for future ROE.
In total, it does look like nib holdings has some positive aspects to its business. Although, we are disappointed to see a lack of growth in earnings even in spite of a high ROE. Bear in mind, the company reinvests a small portion of its profits, which means that investors aren't reaping the benefits of the high rate of return. The latest industry analyst forecasts show that the company is expected to maintain its current growth rate. 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. 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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