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Is Weakness In Patterson Companies, Inc. (NASDAQ:PDCO) Stock A Sign That The Market Could be Wrong Given Its Strong Financial Prospects?

Patterson Companies (NASDAQ:PDCO) has had a rough three months with its share price down 16%. However, stock prices are usually driven by a company’s financial performance over the long term, which in this case looks quite promising. In this article, we decided to focus on Patterson Companies' 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 short, ROE shows the profit each dollar generates with respect to its shareholder investments.

View our latest analysis for Patterson Companies

How Do You Calculate Return On Equity?

The formula for ROE is:

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

So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Patterson Companies is:

20% = US$193m ÷ US$972m (Based on the trailing twelve months to January 2024).

The 'return' is the yearly profit. That means that for every $1 worth of shareholders' equity, the company generated $0.20 in profit.

What Has ROE Got To Do With 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 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 Patterson Companies' Earnings Growth And 20% ROE

To begin with, Patterson Companies seems to have a respectable ROE. On comparing with the average industry ROE of 11% the company's ROE looks pretty remarkable. This certainly adds some context to Patterson Companies' exceptional 35% net income growth seen over the past five years. We believe that there might also be other aspects that are positively influencing the company's earnings growth. For example, it is possible that the company's management has made some good strategic decisions, or that the company has a low payout ratio.

Next, on comparing with the industry net income growth, we found that Patterson Companies' growth is quite high when compared to the industry average growth of 5.6% in the same period, which is great to see.

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. 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 Patterson Companies is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.

Is Patterson Companies Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

Patterson Companies' significant three-year median payout ratio of 51% (where it is retaining only 49% of its income) suggests that the company has been able to achieve a high growth in earnings despite returning most of its income to shareholders.

Besides, Patterson Companies has been paying dividends for at least ten years or more. This shows that the company is committed to sharing profits with its shareholders. Upon studying the latest analysts' consensus data, we found that the company's future payout ratio is expected to drop to 30% over the next three years. However, the company's ROE is not expected to change by much despite the lower expected payout ratio.

Summary

In total, we are pretty happy with Patterson Companies' performance. In particular, its high ROE is quite noteworthy and also the probable explanation behind its considerable earnings growth. Yet, the company is retaining a small portion of its profits. Which means that the company has been able to grow its earnings in spite of it, so that's not too bad. With that said, the latest industry analyst forecasts reveal that the company's earnings growth is expected to slow down. 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.