Most readers would already be aware that Thermo Fisher Scientific's (NYSE:TMO) stock increased significantly by 13% over the past month. Given the company's impressive performance, we decided to study its financial indicators more closely as a company's financial health over the long-term usually dictates market outcomes. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Thermo Fisher Scientific'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.
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 Thermo Fisher Scientific is:
16% = US$7.0b ÷ US$44b (Based on the trailing twelve months to October 2022).
The 'return' is the amount earned after tax over the last twelve months. One way to conceptualize this is that for each $1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made $0.16 in profit.
Why Is ROE Important For 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. 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 Thermo Fisher Scientific's Earnings Growth And 16% ROE
To begin with, Thermo Fisher Scientific seems to have a respectable ROE. And on comparing with the industry, we found that the the average industry ROE is similar at 16%. This certainly adds some context to Thermo Fisher Scientific's exceptional 29% net income growth seen over the past five years. We believe that there might also 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 performed a comparison between Thermo Fisher Scientific's net income growth with the industry, which revealed that the company's growth is similar to the average industry growth of 34% in the same period.
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). 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 Thermo Fisher Scientific is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.
Is Thermo Fisher Scientific Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?
Thermo Fisher Scientific's three-year median payout ratio to shareholders is 5.8%, which is quite low. This implies that the company is retaining 94% of its profits. So it looks like Thermo Fisher Scientific is reinvesting profits heavily to grow its business, which shows in its earnings growth.
Moreover, Thermo Fisher Scientific 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. Based on the latest analysts' estimates, we found that the company's future payout ratio over the next three years is expected to hold steady at 4.7%. Still, forecasts suggest that Thermo Fisher Scientific's future ROE will rise to 20% even though the the company's payout ratio is not expected to change by much.
On the whole, we feel that Thermo Fisher Scientific'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, 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.
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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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