Most readers would already be aware that Air Products and Chemicals' (NYSE:APD) stock increased significantly by 8.3% 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. Specifically, we decided to study Air Products and Chemicals' ROE in this article.
Return on Equity or ROE is a test of how effectively a company is growing its value and managing investors’ money. In other words, it is a profitability ratio which measures the rate of return on the capital provided by the company's shareholders.
How Do You Calculate Return On Equity?
The formula for ROE is:
Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders' Equity
So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Air Products and Chemicals is:
16% = US$2.3b ÷ US$15b (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2022).
The 'return' is the profit over the last twelve months. Another way to think of that is that for every $1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn $0.16 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. 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.
Air Products and Chemicals' Earnings Growth And 16% ROE
To begin with, Air Products and Chemicals seems to have a respectable ROE. Further, the company's ROE is similar to the industry average of 16%. This probably goes some way in explaining Air Products and Chemicals' moderate 11% growth over the past five years amongst other factors.
We then performed a comparison between Air Products and Chemicals' net income growth with the industry, which revealed that the company's growth is similar to the average industry growth of 13% in the same period.
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. This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. If you're wondering about Air Products and Chemicals''s valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.
Is Air Products and Chemicals Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?
While Air Products and Chemicals has a three-year median payout ratio of 63% (which means it retains 37% of profits), the company has still seen a fair bit of earnings growth in the past, meaning that its high payout ratio hasn't hampered its ability to grow.
Moreover, Air Products and Chemicals 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. Upon studying the latest analysts' consensus data, we found that the company is expected to keep paying out approximately 54% of its profits over the next three years. Still, forecasts suggest that Air Products and Chemicals' future ROE will rise to 20% even though the the company's payout ratio is not expected to change by much.
In total, we are pretty happy with Air Products and Chemicals' performance. In particular, its high ROE is quite noteworthy and also the probable explanation behind its considerable earnings growth. Yet, the company is retaining a small portion of its profits. Which means that the company has been able to grow its earnings in spite of it, so that's not too bad. With that said, the latest industry analyst forecasts reveal that the company's earnings are expected to accelerate. 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.
Join A Paid User Research Session
You’ll receive a US$30 Amazon Gift card for 1 hour of your time while helping us build better investing tools for the individual investors like yourself. Sign up here