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Could The Market Be Wrong About The Eastern Company (NASDAQ:EML) Given Its Attractive Financial Prospects?

·4-min read

Eastern (NASDAQ:EML) has had a rough month with its share price down 11%. 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. In this article, we decided to focus on Eastern'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 Eastern

How To Calculate Return On Equity?

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 Eastern is:

12% = US$14m ÷ US$120m (Based on the trailing twelve months to July 2022).

The 'return' is the amount earned after tax over the last twelve months. So, this means that for every $1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of $0.12.

What Is The Relationship Between ROE And Earnings Growth?

We have already established that ROE serves as an efficient profit-generating gauge for a company's future earnings. 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. 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.

Eastern's Earnings Growth And 12% ROE

At first glance, Eastern seems to have a decent ROE. Further, the company's ROE is similar to the industry average of 13%. This certainly adds some context to Eastern's moderate 13% net income growth seen over the past five years.

As a next step, we compared Eastern'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 8.4%.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

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. By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. If you're wondering about Eastern's's valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.

Is Eastern Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

In Eastern's case, its respectable earnings growth can probably be explained by its low three-year median payout ratio of 20% (or a retention ratio of 80%), which suggests that the company is investing most of its profits to grow its business.

Besides, Eastern has been paying dividends for at least ten years or more. This shows that the company is committed to sharing profits with its shareholders.

Conclusion

In total, we are pretty happy with Eastern's performance. Particularly, we like that the company is reinvesting heavily into its business, and at a high rate of return. Unsurprisingly, this has led to an impressive earnings growth. If the company continues to grow its earnings the way it has, that could have a positive impact on its share price given how earnings per share influence long-term share prices. Remember, the price of a stock is also dependent on the perceived risk. Therefore investors must keep themselves informed about the risks involved before investing in any company. To know the 2 risks we have identified for Eastern visit our risks dashboard for free.

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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