Comfort Systems USA (NYSE:FIX) has had a rough three months with its share price down 31%. 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. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Comfort Systems USA’s ROE today.
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. In short, ROE shows the profit each dollar generates with respect to its shareholder investments.
How Is ROE Calculated?
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 Comfort Systems USA is:
19% = US$112m ÷ US$593m (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2020).
The ‘return’ refers to a company’s earnings over the last year. Another way to think of that is that for every $1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn $0.19 in profit.
Why Is ROE Important For Earnings Growth?
Thus far, we have learnt 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. 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.
Comfort Systems USA’s Earnings Growth And 19% ROE
To begin with, Comfort Systems USA seems to have a respectable ROE. Further, the company’s ROE compares quite favorably to the industry average of 11%. Probably as a result of this, Comfort Systems USA was able to see an impressive net income growth of 23% over the last five years. We believe that there might also be other aspects that are positively influencing the company’s earnings growth. For instance, the company has a low payout ratio or is being managed efficiently.
As a next step, we compared Comfort Systems USA’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 18%.
The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. 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. What is FIX worth today? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether FIX is currently mispriced by the market.
Is Comfort Systems USA Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?
Comfort Systems USA’s three-year median payout ratio to shareholders is 17%, which is quite low. This implies that the company is retaining 83% of its profits. So it looks like Comfort Systems USA is reinvesting profits heavily to grow its business, which shows in its earnings growth.
Additionally, Comfort Systems USA has paid dividends over a period of at least ten years which means that the company is pretty serious about sharing its profits with shareholders.
On the whole, we feel that Comfort Systems USA’s performance has been quite good. 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. 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.
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. Thank you for reading.