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Are Strong Financial Prospects The Force That Is Driving The Momentum In LKQ Corporation's NASDAQ:LKQ) Stock?

LKQ (NASDAQ:LKQ) has had a great run on the share market with its stock up by a significant 6.7% over the last month. Given the company's impressive performance, we decided to study its financial indicators more closely as a company's financial health over the long-term usually dictates market outcomes. In this article, we decided to focus on LKQ'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. In simpler terms, it measures the profitability of a company in relation to shareholder's equity.

View our latest analysis for LKQ

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

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So, based on the above formula, the ROE for LKQ is:

22% = US$1.2b ÷ US$5.3b (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2022).

The 'return' is the profit over the last twelve months. That means that for every $1 worth of shareholders' equity, the company generated $0.22 in profit.

What Has ROE Got To Do With 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 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.

LKQ's Earnings Growth And 22% ROE

Firstly, we acknowledge that LKQ has a significantly high ROE. Additionally, a comparison with the average industry ROE of 24% also portrays the company's ROE in a good light. Therefore, it might not be wrong to say that the impressive five year 21% net income growth seen by LKQ was probably achieved as a result of the high ROE.

As a next step, we compared LKQ's net income growth with the industry and were disappointed to see that the company's growth is lower than the industry average growth of 26% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

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. Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. Has the market priced in the future outlook for LKQ? You can find out in our latest intrinsic value infographic research report.

Is LKQ Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

LKQ's three-year median payout ratio to shareholders is 16%, which is quite low. This implies that the company is retaining 84% of its profits. So it looks like LKQ is reinvesting profits heavily to grow its business, which shows in its earnings growth.

While LKQ has been growing its earnings, it only recently started to pay dividends which likely means that the company decided to impress new and existing shareholders with a dividend. Upon studying the latest analysts' consensus data, we found that the company's future payout ratio is expected to rise to 33% over the next three years. Despite the higher expected payout ratio, the company's ROE is not expected to change by much.

Conclusion

Overall, we are quite pleased with LKQ's performance. Particularly, we like that the company is reinvesting heavily into its business, and at a high rate of return. As a result, the decent growth in its earnings is not surprising. 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. 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.

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