Kadant Inc.'s (NYSE:KAI) Stock Has Been Sliding But Fundamentals Look Strong: Is The Market Wrong?

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Kadant (NYSE:KAI) has had a rough three months with its share price down 12%. 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. Specifically, we decided to study Kadant’s ROE in this article.

Return on equity or ROE is an important factor to be considered by a shareholder because it tells them how effectively their capital is being reinvested. Simply put, it is used to assess the profitability of a company in relation to its equity capital.

Check out our latest analysis for Kadant

How Do You Calculate Return On Equity?

The formula for return on equity is:

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

So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Kadant is:

18% = US$110m ÷ US$600m (Based on the trailing twelve months to April 2022).

The ‘return’ refers to a company’s earnings over the last year. That means that for every $1 worth of shareholders’ equity, the company generated $0.18 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. 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. 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.

Kadant’s Earnings Growth And 18% ROE

To start with, Kadant’s ROE looks acceptable. Further, the company’s ROE compares quite favorably to the industry average of 12%. Probably as a result of this, Kadant was able to see a decent growth of 19% over the last five years.

As a next step, we compared Kadant’s net income growth with the industry, and pleasingly, we found that the growth seen by the company is higher than the average industry growth of 8.8%.

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. This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. What is KAI worth today? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether KAI is currently mispriced by the market.

Is Kadant Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

Kadant’s three-year median payout ratio to shareholders is 18% (implying that it retains 82% of its income), which is on the lower side, so it seems like the management is reinvesting profits heavily to grow its business.

Additionally, Kadant has paid dividends over a period of nine years which means that the company is pretty serious about sharing its profits with shareholders.

Conclusion

In total, we are pretty happy with Kadant’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 substantial growth in its earnings. That being so, according to the latest industry analyst forecasts, the company’s earnings are expected to shrink in the future. Are these analysts expectations based on the broad expectations for the industry, or on the company’s fundamentals? Click here to be taken to our analyst’s forecasts page for the company.

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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.