Chemed Corporation's (NYSE:CHE) Fundamentals Look Pretty Strong: Could The Market Be Wrong About The Stock?

Chemed Corporation -0.57%
 Chemed Corporation CHE 580.06 -0.57%

It is hard to get excited after looking at Chemed's (NYSE:CHE) recent performance, when its stock has declined 15% over the past three months. But if you pay close attention, you might find that its key financial indicators look quite decent, which could mean that the stock could potentially rise in the long-term given how markets usually reward more resilient long-term fundamentals. In this article, we decided to focus on Chemed'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. Put another way, it reveals the company's success at turning shareholder investments into profits.

## How Do You Calculate Return On Equity?

ROE 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 Chemed is:

24% = US\$283m ÷ US\$1.2b (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2024).

The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. So, this means that for every \$1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of \$0.24.

## What Has ROE Got To Do With 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.

## Chemed's Earnings Growth And 24% ROE

To begin with, Chemed has a pretty high ROE which is interesting. Second, a comparison with the average ROE reported by the industry of 11% also doesn't go unnoticed by us. However, for some reason, the higher returns aren't reflected in Chemed's meagre five year net income growth average of 2.9%. This is interesting as the high returns should mean that the company has the ability to generate high growth but for some reason, it hasn't been able to do so. We reckon that a low growth, when returns are quite high could be the result of certain circumstances like low earnings retention or or poor allocation of capital.

Next, on comparing with the industry net income growth, we found that Chemed's reported growth was lower than the industry growth of 5.6% over the last few years, which is not something we like to see.

Earnings growth is a huge factor in stock valuation. It’s important for an investor to know whether the market has priced in the company's expected earnings growth (or decline). By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. Is CHE fairly valued? This infographic on the company's intrinsic value has everything you need to know.

## Is Chemed Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

Chemed's low three-year median payout ratio of 8.4% (or a retention ratio of 92%) should mean that the company is retaining most of its earnings to fuel its growth. However, the low earnings growth number doesn't reflect this as high growth usually follows high profit retention. So there could be some other explanation in that regard. For instance, the company's business may be deteriorating.

In addition, Chemed has been paying dividends over a period of at least ten years suggesting that keeping up dividend payments is way more important to the management even if it comes at the cost of business growth.

## Summary

In total, it does look like Chemed has some positive aspects to its business. Yet, the low earnings growth is a bit concerning, especially given that the company has a high rate of return and is reinvesting ma huge portion of its profits. By the looks of it, there could be some other factors, not necessarily in control of the business, that's preventing growth. That being so, the latest analyst forecasts show that the company will continue to see an expansion in its earnings. 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.