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Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings Inc.'s (NYSE:KNX) Stock Has Been Sliding But Fundamentals Look Strong: Is The Market Wrong?

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It is hard to get excited after looking at Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings' (NYSE:KNX) recent performance, when its stock has declined 13% over the past three months. 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. Specifically, we decided to study Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings' 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. Put another way, it reveals the company's success at turning shareholder investments into profits.

See our latest analysis for Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings

How Is ROE Calculated?

The formula for ROE is:

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

So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings is:

12% = US$822m ÷ US$6.6b (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2022).

The 'return' is the yearly profit. So, this means that for every $1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of $0.12.

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. 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. Assuming all else is equal, companies that have both a higher return on equity and higher profit retention are usually the ones that have a higher growth rate when compared to companies that don't have the same features.

Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings' Earnings Growth And 12% ROE

To start with, Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings' ROE looks acceptable. Yet, the fact that the company's ROE is lower than the industry average of 23% does temper our expectations. Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings was still able to see a decent net income growth of 18% over the past five years. Therefore, the growth in earnings could probably have been caused by other variables. Such as - high earnings retention or an efficient management in place. Bear in mind, the company does have a respectable level of ROE. It is just that the industry ROE is higher. So this also provides some context to the earnings growth seen by the company.

As a next step, we compared Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings' 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 5.9%.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. 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. What is KNX worth today? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether KNX is currently mispriced by the market.

Is Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings' three-year median payout ratio to shareholders is 11% (implying that it retains 89% of its income), which is on the lower side, so it seems like the management is reinvesting profits heavily to grow its business.

Besides, Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings 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 10%. Regardless, Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings' ROE is speculated to decline to 10.0% despite there being no anticipated change in its payout ratio.

Conclusion

Overall, we are quite pleased with Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings' 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. With that said, on studying the latest analyst forecasts, we found that while the company has seen growth in its past earnings, analysts expect its future earnings to shrink. 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.

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