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Has ARB Corporation Limited's (ASX:ARB) Impressive Stock Performance Got Anything to Do With Its Fundamentals?

Simply Wall St

ARB's's (ASX:ARB) stock is up by a considerable 28% over the past three months. 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. Specifically, we decided to study ARB's ROE in this article.

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.

See our latest analysis for ARB

How To 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 ARB is:

16% = AU$55m ÷ AU$356m (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2019).

The 'return' is the income the business earned over the last year. So, this means that for every A$1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of A$0.15.

What Is The Relationship Between ROE And Earnings Growth?

So far, we've learnt that ROE is a measure of a company's profitability. 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. Generally speaking, other things being equal, firms with a high return on equity and profit retention, have a higher growth rate than firms that don’t share these attributes.

ARB's Earnings Growth And 16% ROE

At first glance, ARB seems to have a decent ROE. Further, the company's ROE compares quite favorably to the industry average of 7.2%. Probably as a result of this, ARB was able to see a decent growth of 5.4% over the last five years.

As a next step, we compared ARB'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 16% in the same period.

ASX:ARB Past Earnings Growth June 30th 2020

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. This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. One good indicator of expected earnings growth is the P/E ratio which determines the price the market is willing to pay for a stock based on its earnings prospects. So, you may want to check if ARB is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.

Is ARB Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

ARB has a significant three-year median payout ratio of 56%, meaning that it is left with only 44% to reinvest into its business. This implies that the company has been able to achieve decent earnings growth despite returning most of its profits to shareholders.

Besides, ARB has been paying dividends for at least ten years or more. This shows that the company is committed to sharing profits with its shareholders. Based on the latest analysts' estimates, we found that the company's future payout ratio over the next three years is expected to hold steady at 58%. As a result, ARB's ROE is not expected to change by much either, which we inferred from the analyst estimate of 15% for future ROE.

Summary

In total, it does look like ARB has some positive aspects to its business. Its earnings growth is decent, and the high ROE does contribute to that growth. However, investors could have benefitted even more from the high ROE, had the company been reinvesting more of its earnings. Having said that, looking at the current analyst estimates, we found that the company's earnings are expected to gain momentum. 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.

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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