# Declining Stock and Solid Fundamentals: Is The Market Wrong About Phillips 66 (NYSE:PSX)?

Simply Wall St · 08/30 16:27

Phillips 66 (NYSE:PSX) has had a rough month with its share price down 7.3%. 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. In this article, we decided to focus on Phillips 66's ROE.

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 Phillips 66

## How Do You Calculate Return On Equity?

ROE 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 Phillips 66 is:

17% = US\$5.2b ÷ US\$31b (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2024).

The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. One way to conceptualize this is that for each \$1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made \$0.17 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. 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.

## Phillips 66's Earnings Growth And 17% ROE

At first glance, Phillips 66 seems to have a decent ROE. And on comparing with the industry, we found that the the average industry ROE is similar at 16%. This probably goes some way in explaining Phillips 66's significant 37% net income growth over the past five years amongst other factors. However, there could also be other drivers behind this growth. 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 Phillips 66's 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 41% in the same period.

The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. 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. Is PSX fairly valued? This infographic on the company's intrinsic value has everything you need to know.

## Is Phillips 66 Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

Phillips 66 has a really low three-year median payout ratio of 25%, meaning that it has the remaining 75% left over to reinvest into its business. This suggests that the management is reinvesting most of the profits to grow the business as evidenced by the growth seen by the company.

Moreover, Phillips 66 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 36% over the next three years. Despite the higher expected payout ratio, the company's ROE is not expected to change by much.

## Summary

In total, we are pretty happy with Phillips 66'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. With that said, the latest industry analyst forecasts reveal that the company's earnings growth is expected to slow down. 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.