Is Nucor Corporation's (NYSE:NUE) Stock's Recent Performance Being Led By Its Attractive Financial Prospects?

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Nucor (NYSE:NUE) has had a great run on the share market with its stock up by a significant 17% over the last month. Given that the market rewards strong financials in the long-term, we wonder if that is the case in this instance. Specifically, we decided to study Nucor’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 simpler terms, it measures the profitability of a company in relation to shareholder’s equity.

See our latest analysis for Nucor

How To 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 Nucor is:

37% = US$5.2b ÷ US$14b (Based on the trailing twelve months to October 2021).

The ‘return’ is the yearly profit. That means that for every $1 worth of shareholders’ equity, the company generated $0.37 in profit.

What Has ROE Got To Do With Earnings Growth?

We have already established that ROE serves as an efficient profit-generating gauge for a company’s future earnings. 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. 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.

Nucor’s Earnings Growth And 37% ROE

To begin with, Nucor has a pretty high ROE which is interesting. Secondly, even when compared to the industry average of 19% the company’s ROE is quite impressive. Probably as a result of this, Nucor was able to see a decent net income growth of 19% over the last five years.

We then compared Nucor’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 15% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth

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. This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. 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 Nucor is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.

Is Nucor Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

With a three-year median payout ratio of 29% (implying that the company retains 71% of its profits), it seems that Nucor is reinvesting efficiently in a way that it sees respectable amount growth in its earnings and pays a dividend that’s well covered.

Moreover, Nucor 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. Upon studying the latest analysts’ consensus data, we found that the company’s future payout ratio is expected to rise to 41% over the next three years. Consequently, the higher expected payout ratio explains the decline in the company’s expected ROE (to 14%) over the same period.

Summary

Overall, we are quite pleased with Nucor’s performance. In particular, it’s great to see that the company is investing heavily into its business and along with a high rate of return, that has resulted in a sizeable growth in its earnings. 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 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. 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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