Is Weakness In Matson, Inc. (NYSE:MATX) Stock A Sign That The Market Could be Wrong Given Its Strong Financial Prospects?

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It is hard to get excited after looking at Matson’s (NYSE:MATX) recent performance, when its stock has declined 12% over the past three months. However, a closer look at its sound financials might cause you to think again. Given that fundamentals usually drive long-term market outcomes, the company is worth looking at. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Matson’s ROE today.

Return on equity or ROE is a key measure used to assess how efficiently a company’s management is utilizing the company’s capital. Simply put, it is used to assess the profitability of a company in relation to its equity capital.

Check out our latest analysis for Matson

How Do You Calculate Return On Equity?

Return on equity 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 Matson is:

27% = US$277m ÷ US$1.0b (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2021).

The ‘return’ is the profit over the last twelve months. One way to conceptualize this is that for each $1 of shareholders’ capital it has, the company made $0.27 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. 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. 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.

Matson’s Earnings Growth And 27% ROE

Firstly, we acknowledge that Matson has a significantly high ROE. Secondly, even when compared to the industry average of 8.0% the company’s ROE is quite impressive. This likely paved the way for the modest 8.5% net income growth seen by Matson over the past five years. growth

Next, on comparing with the industry net income growth, we found that Matson’s reported growth was lower than the industry growth of 34% in the same period, which is not something we like to see.

past-earnings-growth

Earnings growth is an important metric to consider when valuing a stock. It’s important for an investor to know whether the market has priced in the company’s expected earnings growth (or decline). By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. If you’re wondering about Matson’s’s valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.

Is Matson Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

Matson has a healthy combination of a moderate three-year median payout ratio of 32% (or a retention ratio of 68%) 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, Matson has been paying dividends for at least ten years or more. This shows that the company is committed to sharing profits with its shareholders.

Summary

In total, we are pretty happy with Matson’s performance. Particularly, we like that the company is reinvesting heavily into its business, and at a high rate of return. As a result, the decent growth in its earnings is not surprising. With that said, on studying the latest analyst forecasts, we found that while the company has seen growth in its past earnings, analysts expect its future earnings to shrink. 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.

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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