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Is Fortescue Metals Group Limited's (ASX:FMG) Latest Stock Performance A Reflection Of Its Financial Health?

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Most readers would already be aware that Fortescue Metals Group's (ASX:FMG) stock increased significantly by 33% over the past three months. Since the market usually pay for a company’s long-term fundamentals, we decided to study the company’s key performance indicators to see if they could be influencing the market. Specifically, we decided to study Fortescue Metals Group'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. In short, ROE shows the profit each dollar generates with respect to its shareholder investments.

See our latest analysis for Fortescue Metals Group

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 Fortescue Metals Group is:

58% = US$10b ÷ US$18b (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2021).

The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. That means that for every A$1 worth of shareholders' equity, the company generated A$0.58 in profit.

Why Is ROE Important For 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.

A Side By Side comparison of Fortescue Metals Group's Earnings Growth And 58% ROE

To begin with, Fortescue Metals Group has a pretty high ROE which is interesting. Secondly, even when compared to the industry average of 13% the company's ROE is quite impressive. As a result, Fortescue Metals Group's exceptional 43% net income growth seen over the past five years, doesn't come as a surprise.

We then compared Fortescue Metals Group's net income growth with the industry and we're pleased to see that the company's growth figure is higher when compared with the industry which has a growth rate of 24% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

Earnings growth is a huge factor in stock valuation. The investor should try to establish if the expected growth or decline in earnings, whichever the case may be, is priced in. This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. Has the market priced in the future outlook for FMG? You can find out in our latest intrinsic value infographic research report.

Is Fortescue Metals Group Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

Fortescue Metals Group has a significant three-year median payout ratio of 70%, meaning the company only retains 30% of its income. This implies that the company has been able to achieve high earnings growth despite returning most of its profits to shareholders.

Additionally, Fortescue Metals Group has paid dividends over a period of at least ten years which means that the company is pretty serious about sharing its profits with shareholders. Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company over the next three years is expected to be approximately 72%. Regardless, Fortescue Metals Group's ROE is speculated to decline to 20% despite there being no anticipated change in its payout ratio.

Summary

Overall, we are quite pleased with Fortescue Metals Group's performance. Especially the high ROE, Which has contributed to the impressive growth seen in earnings. Despite the company reinvesting only a small portion of its profits, it still has managed to grow its earnings so that is appreciable. That being so, according to the latest industry analyst forecasts, the company's earnings are expected 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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