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# Peabody Energy Corporation's (NYSE:BTU) Stock Is Going Strong: Is the Market Following Fundamentals?

Most readers would already be aware that Peabody Energy's (NYSE:BTU) stock increased significantly by 10% 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. Specifically, we decided to study Peabody Energy's ROE in this article.

Return on equity or ROE is an important factor to be considered by a shareholder because it tells them how effectively their capital is being reinvested. In simpler terms, it measures the profitability of a company in relation to shareholder's equity.

View our latest analysis for Peabody Energy

## How To 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 Peabody Energy is:

36% = US\$1.3b ÷ US\$3.5b (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2023).

The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. One way to conceptualize this is that for each \$1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made \$0.36 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.

## Peabody Energy's Earnings Growth And 36% ROE

To begin with, Peabody Energy has a pretty high ROE which is interesting. Secondly, even when compared to the industry average of 23% the company's ROE is quite impressive. As a result, Peabody Energy's exceptional 31% net income growth seen over the past five years, doesn't come as a surprise.

We then performed a comparison between Peabody Energy's net income growth with the industry, which revealed that the company's growth is similar to the average industry growth of 32% in the same 5-year period.

Earnings growth is an important metric to consider when valuing a stock. The investor should try to establish if the expected growth or decline in earnings, whichever the case may be, is priced in. 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 Peabody Energy's's valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.

## Is Peabody Energy Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

Peabody Energy has a really low three-year median payout ratio of 0.7%, meaning that it has the remaining 99% left over to reinvest into its business. This suggests that the management is reinvesting most of the profits to grow the business as evidenced by the growth seen by the company.

Additionally, Peabody Energy has paid dividends over a period of six years which means that the company is pretty serious about sharing its profits with shareholders. Looking at the current analyst consensus data, we can see that the company's future payout ratio is expected to rise to 102% over the next three years.

## Conclusion

In total, we are pretty happy with Peabody Energy's performance. Specifically, we like that the company is reinvesting a huge chunk of its profits at a high rate of return. This of course has caused the company to see substantial growth in its earnings. 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. 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.