It is hard to get excited after looking at Devon Energy's (NYSE:DVN) recent performance, when its stock has declined 4.2% over the past month. However, stock prices are usually driven by a company’s financial performance over the long term, which in this case looks quite promising. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Devon Energy'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. Simply put, it is used to assess the profitability of a company in relation to its equity capital.
How Is ROE Calculated?
Return on equity 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 Devon Energy is:
58% = US$6.3b ÷ US$11b (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2022).
The 'return' is the amount earned after tax over the last twelve months. That means that for every $1 worth of shareholders' equity, the company generated $0.58 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 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.
A Side By Side comparison of Devon Energy's Earnings Growth And 58% ROE
To begin with, Devon Energy has a pretty high ROE which is interesting. Secondly, even when compared to the industry average of 32% the company's ROE is quite impressive. Under the circumstances, Devon Energy's considerable five year net income growth of 35% was to be expected.
As a next step, we compared Devon Energy's net income growth with the industry, and pleasingly, we found that the growth seen by the company is higher than the average industry growth of 6.8%.
Earnings growth is an important metric to consider when valuing a stock. 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. 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 Devon Energy is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.
Is Devon Energy Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?
Devon Energy has a really low three-year median payout ratio of 12%, meaning that it has the remaining 88% left over to reinvest into its business. So it seems like the management is reinvesting profits heavily to grow its business and this reflects in its earnings growth number.
Besides, Devon Energy has been paying dividends for at least ten years or more. This shows that the company is committed to sharing profits with its shareholders. Upon studying the latest analysts' consensus data, we found that the company is expected to keep paying out approximately 13% of its profits over the next three years. Still, forecasts suggest that Devon Energy's future ROE will drop to 16% even though the the company's payout ratio is not expected to change by much.
On the whole, we feel that Devon Energy's performance has been quite good. Specifically, we like that the company is reinvesting a huge chunk of its profits at a high rate of return. This of course has caused the company to see substantial growth in its earnings. With that said, on studying the latest analyst forecasts, we found that while the company has seen growth in its past earnings, analysts expect its future earnings to shrink. 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.
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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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