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A. O. Smith Corporation's (NYSE:AOS) Stock Has Been Sliding But Fundamentals Look Strong: Is The Market Wrong?

It is hard to get excited after looking at A. O. Smith's (NYSE:AOS) recent performance, when its stock has declined 7.0% over the past month. But if you pay close attention, you might gather that its strong financials could mean that the stock could potentially see an increase in value in the long-term, given how markets usually reward companies with good financial health. In this article, we decided to focus on A. O. Smith's ROE.

Return on Equity or ROE is a test of how effectively a company is growing its value and managing investors’ money. Put another way, it reveals the company's success at turning shareholder investments into profits.

See our latest analysis for A. O. Smith

How To 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 A. O. Smith is:

29% = US$517m ÷ US$1.8b (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2022).

The 'return' is the income the business earned over the last year. One way to conceptualize this is that for each $1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made $0.29 in profit.

What Has ROE Got To Do With Earnings Growth?

So far, we've learned that ROE is a measure of a company's profitability. 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.

A. O. Smith's Earnings Growth And 29% ROE

First thing first, we like that A. O. Smith has an impressive ROE. Additionally, the company's ROE is higher compared to the industry average of 24% which is quite remarkable. Probably as a result of this, A. O. Smith was able to see a decent net income growth of 7.5% over the last five years.

As a next step, we compared A. O. Smith's net income growth with the industry and were disappointed to see that the company's growth is lower than the industry average growth of 13% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. What investors need to determine next is if the expected earnings growth, or the lack of it, is already built into the share price. By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. Is AOS fairly valued? This infographic on the company's intrinsic value has everything you need to know.

Is A. O. Smith Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

A. O. Smith has a healthy combination of a moderate three-year median payout ratio of 37% (or a retention ratio of 63%) and a respectable amount of growth in earnings as we saw above, meaning that the company has been making efficient use of its profits.

Besides, A. O. Smith has been paying dividends for at least ten years or more. This shows that the company is committed to sharing profits with its shareholders. Upon studying the latest analysts' consensus data, we found that the company is expected to keep paying out approximately 31% of its profits over the next three years. As a result, A. O. Smith's ROE is not expected to change by much either, which we inferred from the analyst estimate of 28% for future ROE.

Summary

Overall, we are quite pleased with A. O. Smith's performance. 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 a good amount of growth in its earnings. With that said, the latest industry analyst forecasts reveal that the company's earnings growth is expected to slow down. To know more about the company's future earnings growth forecasts take a look at this free report on analyst forecasts for the company to find out more.

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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