Most readers would already be aware that MRC Global's (NYSE:MRC) stock increased significantly by 15% over the past month. As most would know, fundamentals are what usually guide market price movements over the long-term, so we decided to look at the company's key financial indicators today to determine if they have any role to play in the recent price movement. Particularly, we will be paying attention to MRC Global's ROE today.
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.
The formula for ROE is:
Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders' Equity
So, based on the above formula, the ROE for MRC Global is:
13% = US$103m ÷ US$790m (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2023).
The 'return' is the yearly profit. So, this means that for every $1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of $0.13.
So far, we've learned that ROE is a measure of a company's profitability. 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.
At first glance, MRC Global seems to have a decent ROE. Even so, when compared with the average industry ROE of 18%, we aren't very excited. Further research shows that MRC Global's net income has shrunk at a rate of 2.7% over the last five years. Bear in mind, the company does have a high ROE. It is just that the industry ROE is higher. Therefore, the shrinking earnings could be the result of other factors. These include low earnings retention or poor allocation of capital.
That being said, we compared MRC Global's performance with the industry and were concerned when we found that while the company has shrunk its earnings, the industry has grown its earnings at a rate of 21% in the same 5-year 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. Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. If you're wondering about MRC Global's's valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.
MRC Global doesn't pay any dividend, meaning that the company is keeping all of its profits, which makes us wonder why it is retaining its earnings if it can't use them to grow its business. So there might be other factors at play here which could potentially be hampering growth. For example, the business has faced some headwinds.
Overall, we feel that MRC Global certainly does have some positive factors to consider. However, while the company does have a decent ROE and a high profit retention, its earnings growth number is quite disappointing. This suggests that there might be some external threat to the business, that's hampering growth. That being so, the latest industry analyst forecasts show that the analysts are expecting to see a huge improvement in the company's earnings growth rate. To know more about the company's future earnings growth forecasts take a look at this free report on analyst forecasts for the company to find out more.
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.
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.