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Are Warrior Met Coal, Inc.'s (NYSE:HCC) Fundamentals Good Enough to Warrant Buying Given The Stock's Recent Weakness?

·4-min read

It is hard to get excited after looking at Warrior Met Coal's (NYSE:HCC) recent performance, when its stock has declined 16% over the past three months. However, the company's fundamentals look pretty decent, and long-term financials are usually aligned with future market price movements. In this article, we decided to focus on Warrior Met Coal's ROE.

ROE or return on equity is a useful tool to assess how effectively a company can generate returns on the investment it received from its shareholders. Simply put, it is used to assess the profitability of a company in relation to its equity capital.

Check out our latest analysis for Warrior Met Coal

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 Warrior Met Coal is:

31% = US$318m ÷ US$1.0b (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2022).

The 'return' is the income the business earned over the last year. Another way to think of that is that for every $1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn $0.31 in profit.

What Is The Relationship Between ROE And Earnings Growth?

Thus far, we have learned that ROE measures how efficiently a company is generating its profits. 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.

Warrior Met Coal's Earnings Growth And 31% ROE

Firstly, we acknowledge that Warrior Met Coal has a significantly high ROE. Additionally, the company's ROE is higher compared to the industry average of 22% which is quite remarkable. As you might expect, the 27% net income decline reported by Warrior Met Coal doesn't bode well with us. We reckon that there could be some other factors at play here that are preventing the company's growth. Such as, the company pays out a huge portion of its earnings as dividends, or is faced with competitive pressures.

So, as a next step, we compared Warrior Met Coal's performance against the industry and were disappointed to discover that while the company has been shrinking its earnings, the industry has been growing its earnings at a rate of 23% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

Earnings growth is a huge factor in stock valuation. 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. Is Warrior Met Coal fairly valued compared to other companies? These 3 valuation measures might help you decide.

Is Warrior Met Coal Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

When we piece together Warrior Met Coal's low three-year median payout ratio of 1.7% (where it is retaining 98% of its profits), calculated for the last three-year period, we are puzzled by the lack of growth. The low payout should mean that the company is retaining most of its earnings and consequently, should see some growth. So there could be some other explanations in that regard. For example, the company's business may be deteriorating.

Additionally, Warrior Met Coal has paid dividends over a period of five years, which means that the company's management is rather focused on keeping up its dividend payments, regardless of the shrinking earnings. Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company is expected to rise to 4.9% over the next three years. Therefore, the expected rise in the payout ratio explains why the company's ROE is expected to decline to 12% over the same period.

Summary

Overall, we feel that Warrior Met Coal certainly does have some positive factors to consider. Yet, the low earnings growth is a bit concerning, especially given that the company has a high rate of return and is reinvesting ma huge portion of its profits. By the looks of it, there could be some other factors, not necessarily in control of the business, that's preventing growth. Moreover, after studying current analyst estimates, we discovered that the company's earnings are expected to continue to shrink in the future. To know more about the latest analysts predictions for the company, check out this visualization of analyst forecasts 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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