Is Resolute Forest Products Inc.'s (NYSE:RFP) Latest Stock Performance A Reflection Of Its Financial Health?

·4 min read

Resolute Forest Products' (NYSE:RFP) stock is up by a considerable 71% over the past three months. Since the market usually pay for a company’s long-term fundamentals, we decided to study the company’s key performance indicators to see if they could be influencing the market. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Resolute Forest Products' 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.

See our latest analysis for Resolute Forest Products

How Do You Calculate Return On Equity?

Return on equity 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 Resolute Forest Products is:

25% = US$431m ÷ US$1.8b (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2022).

The 'return' is the amount earned after tax over the last twelve months. That means that for every $1 worth of shareholders' equity, the company generated $0.25 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.

A Side By Side comparison of Resolute Forest Products' Earnings Growth And 25% ROE

Firstly, we acknowledge that Resolute Forest Products has a significantly high ROE. But before we got too excited, we checked the industry average and were disappointed to see that industry's ROE was much higher at 33%. That being the case, the significant five-year 45% net income growth reported by Resolute Forest Products comes as a pleasant surprise. Therefore, there could be other factors driving this growth. For instance, the company has a low payout ratio or is being managed efficiently. However, not to forget, the company does have a high ROE to begin with, just that it is lower than the industry average. So this also does lend some color to the high earnings growth seen by the company.

We then compared Resolute Forest Products' net income growth with the industry and we're pleased to see that the company's growth figure is higher when compared with the industry which has a growth rate of 0.6% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

Earnings growth is a huge factor in stock valuation. 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. One good indicator of expected earnings growth is the P/E ratio which determines the price the market is willing to pay for a stock based on its earnings prospects. So, you may want to check if Resolute Forest Products is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.

Is Resolute Forest Products Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

Resolute Forest Products doesn't pay any dividend to its shareholders, meaning that the company has been reinvesting all of its profits into the business. This is likely what's driving the high earnings growth number discussed above.

Conclusion

In total, we are pretty happy with Resolute Forest Products' performance. Particularly, we like that the company is reinvesting heavily into its business at a moderate rate of return. Unsurprisingly, this has led to an impressive earnings growth. Having said that, on studying current analyst estimates, we were concerned to see that while the company has grown its earnings in the past, analysts expect its earnings 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.

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.

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