MSA Safety (NYSE:MSA) has had a great run on the share market with its stock up by a significant 17% over the last three months. 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. Particularly, we will be paying attention to MSA Safety's ROE today.
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.
How To Calculate Return On Equity?
ROE can be calculated by using the formula:
Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders' Equity
So, based on the above formula, the ROE for MSA Safety is:
18% = US$140m ÷ US$780m (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2020).
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 $0.18.
Why Is ROE Important For Earnings Growth?
Thus far, we have learned that ROE measures how efficiently a company is generating its profits. We now need to evaluate how much profit the company reinvests or "retains" for future growth which then gives us an idea about the growth potential of the company. 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.
MSA Safety's Earnings Growth And 18% ROE
At first glance, MSA Safety seems to have a decent ROE. Further, the company's ROE compares quite favorably to the industry average of 12%. This probably laid the ground for MSA Safety's moderate 17% net income growth seen over the past five years.
We then performed a comparison between MSA Safety's net income growth with the industry, which revealed that the company's growth is similar to the average industry growth of 15% in the same period.
Earnings growth is a huge factor in stock valuation. What investors need to determine next is if the expected earnings growth, or the lack of it, is already built into the share price. Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. If you're wondering about MSA Safety's's valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.
Is MSA Safety Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?
MSA Safety has a three-year median payout ratio of 49%, which implies that it retains the remaining 51% 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.
Additionally, MSA Safety 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.
In total, we are pretty happy with MSA Safety's performance. Particularly, we like that the company is reinvesting heavily into its business, and at a high rate of return. Unsurprisingly, this has led to an impressive earnings growth. We also studied the latest analyst forecasts and found that the company's earnings growth is expected be similar to its current growth rate. To know more about the latest analysts predictions for the company, check out this visualization of analyst forecasts 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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