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Metcash Limited's (ASX:MTS) Stock's On An Uptrend: Are Strong Financials Guiding The Market?

Most readers would already be aware that Metcash's (ASX:MTS) stock increased significantly by 6.8% over the past month. Given that the market rewards strong financials in the long-term, we wonder if that is the case in this instance. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Metcash'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 other words, it is a profitability ratio which measures the rate of return on the capital provided by the company's shareholders.

See our latest analysis for Metcash

How To 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 Metcash is:

23% = AU$247m ÷ AU$1.1b (Based on the trailing twelve months to April 2022).

The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. So, this means that for every A$1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of A$0.23.

What Has ROE Got To Do With 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. 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.

Metcash's Earnings Growth And 23% ROE

To begin with, Metcash has a pretty high ROE which is interesting. Even when compared to the industry average of 26% the company's ROE is pretty decent. Given the circumstances, the significant 29% net income growth seen by Metcash over the last five years is not surprising.

As a next step, we compared Metcash'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 11%.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

Earnings growth is a huge factor in stock valuation. What investors need to determine next is if the expected earnings growth, or the lack of it, is already built into the share price. By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. Is Metcash fairly valued compared to other companies? These 3 valuation measures might help you decide.

Is Metcash Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

The high three-year median payout ratio of 75% (implying that it keeps only 25% of profits) for Metcash suggests that the company's growth wasn't really hampered despite it returning most of the earnings to its shareholders.

Besides, Metcash 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 71% of its profits over the next three years. Therefore, the company's future ROE is also not expected to change by much with analysts predicting an ROE of 24%.

Conclusion

In total, we are pretty happy with Metcash's performance. We are particularly impressed by the considerable earnings growth posted by the company, which was likely backed by its high ROE. While the company is paying out most of its earnings as dividends, it has been able to grow its earnings in spite of it, so that's probably a good sign. 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 company's future earnings growth forecasts take a look at this free report on analyst forecasts for the company to find out more.

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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