Most readers would already be aware that Becton Dickinson's (NYSE:BDX) stock increased significantly by 6.7% over the past month. We wonder if and what role the company's financials play in that price change as a company's long-term fundamentals usually dictate market outcomes. Specifically, we decided to study Becton Dickinson's ROE in this article.
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. Put another way, it reveals the company's success at turning shareholder investments into profits.
How Do You 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 Becton Dickinson is:
6.2% = US$1.6b ÷ US$25b (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2022).
The 'return' is the yearly profit. One way to conceptualize this is that for each $1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made $0.06 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 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.
Becton Dickinson's Earnings Growth And 6.2% ROE
On the face of it, Becton Dickinson's ROE is not much to talk about. Next, when compared to the average industry ROE of 10%, the company's ROE leaves us feeling even less enthusiastic. In spite of this, Becton Dickinson was able to grow its net income considerably, at a rate of 29% in the last five years. Therefore, there could be other reasons behind this growth. For example, it is possible that the company's management has made some good strategic decisions, or that the company has a low payout ratio.
Next, on comparing with the industry net income growth, we found that Becton Dickinson's growth is quite high when compared to the industry average growth of 16% in the same period, which is great to see.
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). By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. Has the market priced in the future outlook for BDX? You can find out in our latest intrinsic value infographic research report.
Is Becton Dickinson Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?
Becton Dickinson's significant three-year median payout ratio of 67% (where it is retaining only 33% of its income) suggests that the company has been able to achieve a high growth in earnings despite returning most of its income to shareholders.
Moreover, Becton Dickinson is determined to keep sharing its profits with shareholders which we infer from its long history of paying a dividend for at least ten years. Upon studying the latest analysts' consensus data, we found that the company's future payout ratio is expected to drop to 27% over the next three years. Accordingly, the expected drop in the payout ratio explains the expected increase in the company's ROE to 15%, over the same period.
On the whole, we do feel that Becton Dickinson has some positive attributes. While no doubt its earnings growth is pretty substantial, we do feel that the reinvestment rate is pretty low, meaning, the earnings growth number could have been significantly higher had the company been retaining more of its profits. 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. To know more about the latest analysts predictions for the company, check out this visualization of analyst forecasts for the company.
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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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