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Are Becton, Dickinson and Company's (NYSE:BDX) Fundamentals Good Enough to Warrant Buying Given The Stock's Recent Weakness?

With its stock down 17% over the past three months, it is easy to disregard Becton Dickinson (NYSE:BDX). But if you pay close attention, you might find that its key financial indicators look quite decent, which could mean that the stock could potentially rise in the long-term given how markets usually reward more resilient long-term fundamentals. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Becton Dickinson's ROE today.

Return on Equity or ROE is a test of how effectively a company is growing its value and managing investors’ money. In short, ROE shows the profit each dollar generates with respect to its shareholder investments.

View our latest analysis for Becton Dickinson

How Is ROE Calculated?

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:

6.5% = US$1.6b ÷ US$25b (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2022).

The 'return' is the income the business earned over the last year. One way to conceptualize this is that for each $1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made $0.06 in profit.

What Is The Relationship Between ROE And Earnings Growth?

So far, we've learned that ROE is a measure of a company's profitability. Based on how much of its profits the company chooses to reinvest or "retain", we are then able to evaluate a company's future ability to generate profits. 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.

A Side By Side comparison of Becton Dickinson's Earnings Growth And 6.5% ROE

When you first look at it, Becton Dickinson's ROE doesn't look that attractive. A quick further study shows that the company's ROE doesn't compare favorably to the industry average of 12% either. However, we we're pleasantly surprised to see that Becton Dickinson grew its net income at a significant rate of 29% in the last five years. So, there might be other aspects that are positively influencing the company's earnings growth. For instance, the company has a low payout ratio or is being managed efficiently.

We then compared Becton Dickinson's net income growth with the industry and we're pleased to see that the company's growth figure is higher when compared with the industry which has a growth rate of 18% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

Earnings growth is an important metric to consider when valuing a stock. 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. 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 Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

Becton Dickinson has a significant three-year median payout ratio of 64%, meaning the company only retains 36% of its income. This implies that the company has been able to achieve high earnings growth despite returning most of its profits to shareholders.

Additionally, Becton Dickinson has paid dividends over a period of at least ten years which means that the company is pretty serious about sharing its profits with shareholders. Existing analyst estimates suggest that the company's future payout ratio is expected to drop to 27% over the next three years. As a result, the expected drop in Becton Dickinson's payout ratio explains the anticipated rise in the company's future ROE to 17%, over the same period.

Conclusion

Overall, we feel that Becton Dickinson certainly does have some positive factors to consider. 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. With that said, the latest industry analyst forecasts reveal that the company's earnings growth is expected to slow down. 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.

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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