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Has Weis Markets, Inc. (NYSE:WMK) Stock's Recent Performance Got Anything to Do With Its Financial Health?

Weis Markets' (NYSE:WMK) stock up by 4.1% over the past month. Given that stock prices are usually aligned with a company's financial performance in the long-term, we decided to investigate if the company's decent financials had a hand to play in the recent price move. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Weis Markets' 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.

View our latest analysis for Weis Markets

How Is ROE Calculated?

Return on equity can be calculated by using the formula:

Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders' Equity

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So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Weis Markets is:

7.6% = US$104m ÷ US$1.4b (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2023).

The 'return' is the profit over the last twelve months. Another way to think of that is that for every $1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn $0.08 in profit.

What Is The Relationship Between ROE And Earnings Growth?

Thus far, we have learned that ROE measures how efficiently a company is generating its profits. 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. 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.

Weis Markets' Earnings Growth And 7.6% ROE

On the face of it, Weis Markets' ROE is not much to talk about. We then compared the company's ROE to the broader industry and were disappointed to see that the ROE is lower than the industry average of 14%. Weis Markets was still able to see a decent net income growth of 12% over the past five years. We reckon that there could be other factors at play here. For example, it is possible that the company's management has made some good strategic decisions, or that the company has a low payout ratio.

As a next step, we compared Weis Markets' net income growth with the industry and found that the company has a similar growth figure when compared with the industry average growth rate of 13% 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. Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. 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 Weis Markets is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.

Is Weis Markets Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

With a three-year median payout ratio of 30% (implying that the company retains 70% of its profits), it seems that Weis Markets is reinvesting efficiently in a way that it sees respectable amount growth in its earnings and pays a dividend that's well covered.

Moreover, Weis Markets 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.

Summary

On the whole, we do feel that Weis Markets has some positive attributes. Despite its low rate of return, the fact that the company reinvests a very high portion of its profits into its business, no doubt contributed to its high earnings growth.

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.