# Is Wesfarmers Limited's (ASX:WES) Recent Stock Performance Tethered To Its Strong Fundamentals?

Simply Wall St · 08/30 21:30

Wesfarmers (ASX:WES) has had a great run on the share market with its stock up by a significant 12% over the last three months. Given the company's impressive performance, we decided to study its financial indicators more closely as a company's financial health over the long-term usually dictates market outcomes. Specifically, we decided to study Wesfarmers' 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 other words, it is a profitability ratio which measures the rate of return on the capital provided by the company's shareholders.

See our latest analysis for Wesfarmers

## How To Calculate Return On Equity?

The formula for ROE is:

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

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

30% = AU\$2.6b ÷ AU\$8.6b (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2024).

The 'return' is the profit over the last twelve months. Another way to think of that is that for every A\$1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn A\$0.30 in profit.

## What Is The Relationship Between ROE And 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.

## Wesfarmers' Earnings Growth And 30% ROE

First thing first, we like that Wesfarmers has an impressive ROE. Secondly, even when compared to the industry average of 8.4% the company's ROE is quite impressive. This likely paved the way for the modest 7.6% net income growth seen by Wesfarmers over the past five years.

As a next step, we compared Wesfarmers' 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 7.9% in the same period.

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. Is Wesfarmers fairly valued compared to other companies? These 3 valuation measures might help you decide.

## Is Wesfarmers Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

Wesfarmers has a significant three-year median payout ratio of 87%, meaning that it is left with only 13% to reinvest into its business. This implies that the company has been able to achieve decent earnings growth despite returning most of its profits to shareholders.

Besides, Wesfarmers has been paying dividends for at least ten years or more. This shows that the company is committed to sharing profits with its shareholders. Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company over the next three years is expected to be approximately 87%. Accordingly, forecasts suggest that Wesfarmers' future ROE will be 34% which is again, similar to the current ROE.

## Summary

On the whole, we feel that Wesfarmers' performance has been quite good. Especially the high ROE, Which has contributed to the impressive growth seen in earnings. Despite the company reinvesting only a small portion of its profits, it still has managed to grow its earnings so that is appreciable. We also studied the latest analyst forecasts and found that the company's earnings growth is expected be similar to its current growth rate. To know more about the latest analysts predictions for the company, check out this visualization of analyst forecasts for the company.