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Is Bunzl plc's (LON:BNZL) Stock's Recent Performance A Reflection Of Its Financial Health?

Bunzl's (LON:BNZL) stock up by 6.8% over the past three months. Given its impressive performance, we decided to study the company's key financial indicators as a company's long-term fundamentals usually dictate market outcomes. Specifically, we decided to study Bunzl's ROE in this article.

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. In simpler terms, it measures the profitability of a company in relation to shareholder's equity.

Check out our latest analysis for Bunzl

How To Calculate Return On Equity?

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 Bunzl is:

19% = UK£453m ÷ UK£2.4b (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2022).

The 'return' is the amount earned after tax over the last twelve months. So, this means that for every £1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of £0.19.

What Has ROE Got To Do With Earnings Growth?

We have already established that ROE serves as an efficient profit-generating gauge for a company's future earnings. 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 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.

Bunzl's Earnings Growth And 19% ROE

At first glance, Bunzl seems to have a decent ROE. Especially when compared to the industry average of 13% the company's ROE looks pretty impressive. This probably laid the ground for Bunzl's moderate 9.9% net income growth seen over the past five years.

We then performed a comparison between Bunzl's net income growth with the industry, which revealed that the company's growth is similar to the average industry growth of 9.9% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

Earnings growth is an important metric to consider when valuing a stock. 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. If you're wondering about Bunzl's's valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.

Is Bunzl Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

Bunzl has a three-year median payout ratio of 43%, which implies that it retains the remaining 57% of its profits. This suggests that its dividend is well covered, and given the decent growth seen by the company, it looks like management is reinvesting its earnings efficiently.

Moreover, Bunzl 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 37% of its profits over the next three years. As a result, Bunzl's ROE is not expected to change by much either, which we inferred from the analyst estimate of 20% for future ROE.

Summary

On the whole, we feel that Bunzl'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.

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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