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Chubb's (NYSE:CB) stock up by 4.4% over the past month. As most would know, long-term fundamentals have a strong correlation with market price movements, so we decided to look at the company's key financial indicators today to determine if they have any role to play in the recent price movement. Specifically, we decided to study Chubb's 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. Simply put, it is used to assess the profitability of a company in relation to its equity capital.
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 Chubb is:
14% = US$8.2b ÷ US$60b (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2021).
The 'return' is the yearly profit. Another way to think of that is that for every $1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn $0.14 in profit.
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. 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.
Chubb's Earnings Growth And 14% ROE
To begin with, Chubb seems to have a respectable ROE. Even when compared to the industry average of 12% the company's ROE looks quite decent. Chubb's decent returns aren't reflected in Chubb'smediocre five year net income growth average of 4.7%. A few likely reasons that could be keeping earnings growth low are - the company has a high payout ratio or the business has allocated capital poorly, for instance.
We then compared Chubb's net income growth with the industry and found that the company's growth figure is lower than the average industry growth rate of 12% in the same period, which is a bit concerning.
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. 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 Chubb is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.
Is Chubb Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?
While Chubb has a decent three-year median payout ratio of 35% (or a retention ratio of 65%), it has seen very little growth in earnings. So there could be some other explanation in that regard. For instance, the company's business may be deteriorating.
In addition, Chubb has been paying dividends over a period of at least ten years suggesting that keeping up dividend payments is way more important to the management even if it comes at the cost of business growth. Existing analyst estimates suggest that the company's future payout ratio is expected to drop to 27% over the next three years. Regardless, the ROE is not expected to change much for the company despite the lower expected payout ratio.
In total, it does look like Chubb has some positive aspects to its business. 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. That being so, according to the latest industry analyst forecasts, the company's earnings are expected to shrink in the future. 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.
This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. 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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