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Is CVS Health Corporation's (NYSE:CVS) Stock's Recent Performance A Reflection Of Its Financial Health?

CVS Health's (NYSE:CVS) stock is up by 4.7% over the past three months. Since the market usually pay for a company’s long-term financial health, we decided to study the company’s fundamentals to see if they could be influencing the market. Particularly, we will be paying attention to CVS Health's ROE today.

Return on equity or ROE is a key measure used to assess how efficiently a company's management is utilizing the company's capital. In short, ROE shows the profit each dollar generates with respect to its shareholder investments.

View our latest analysis for CVS Health

How Is ROE Calculated?

The formula for return on equity is:

Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders' Equity

So, based on the above formula, the ROE for CVS Health is:

11% = US$8.2b ÷ US$76b (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2022).

The 'return' is the profit over the last twelve months. One way to conceptualize this is that for each $1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made $0.11 in profit.

What Has ROE Got To Do With Earnings Growth?

So far, we've learned that ROE is a measure of a company's profitability. 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.

CVS Health's Earnings Growth And 11% ROE

To begin with, CVS Health seems to have a respectable ROE. Even so, when compared with the average industry ROE of 15%, we aren't very excited. Although, we can see that CVS Health saw a modest net income growth of 17% over the past five years. Therefore, the growth in earnings could probably have been caused by other variables. 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. However, not to forget, the company does have a decent ROE to begin with, just that it is lower than the industry average. So this also provides some context to the earnings growth seen by the company.

We then performed a comparison between CVS Health's net income growth with the industry, which revealed that the company's growth is similar to the average industry growth of 18% 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. If you're wondering about CVS Health's's valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.

Is CVS Health Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

CVS Health has a three-year median payout ratio of 35%, which implies that it retains the remaining 65% of its profits. This suggests that its dividend is well covered, and given the decent growth seen by the company, it looks like management is reinvesting its earnings efficiently.

Moreover, CVS Health 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. Existing analyst estimates suggest that the company's future payout ratio is expected to drop to 24% over the next three years. As a result, the expected drop in CVS Health's payout ratio explains the anticipated rise in the company's future ROE to 15%, over the same period.

Conclusion

On the whole, we feel that CVS Health's performance has been quite good. Specifically, we like that it has been reinvesting a high portion of its profits at a moderate rate of return, resulting in earnings expansion. 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. 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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