Is LKQ Corporation's (NASDAQ:LKQ) Stock's Recent Performance A Reflection Of Its Financial Health?

LKQ Corporation +1.21%
 LKQ Corporation LKQ 42.1 +1.21%

LKQ's (NASDAQ:LKQ) stock up by 8.6% over the past three months. Given its impressive performance, we decided to study the company's key financial indicators as a company's long-term fundamentals usually dictate market outcomes. Particularly, we will be paying attention to LKQ's ROE today.

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. Put another way, it reveals the company's success at turning shareholder investments into profits.

View our latest analysis for LKQ

## 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 LKQ is:

16% = US\$953m ÷ US\$6.0b (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2023).

The 'return' is the profit over the last twelve months. One way to conceptualize this is that for each \$1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made \$0.16 in profit.

## 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. 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. Generally speaking, other things being equal, firms with a high return on equity and profit retention, have a higher growth rate than firms that don’t share these attributes.

## A Side By Side comparison of LKQ's Earnings Growth And 16% ROE

To begin with, LKQ seems to have a respectable ROE. Yet, the fact that the company's ROE is lower than the industry average of 22% does temper our expectations. Still, we can see that LKQ has seen a remarkable net income growth of 21% over the past five years. We believe that there might be other aspects that are positively influencing the company's earnings growth. For instance, the company has a low payout ratio or is being managed efficiently. However, not to forget, the company does have a decent ROE to begin with, just that it is lower than the industry average. So this certainly also provides some context to the high earnings growth seen by the company.

We then performed a comparison between LKQ's net income growth with the industry, which revealed that the company's growth is similar to the average industry growth of 21% in the same 5-year period.

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. What is LKQ worth today? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether LKQ is currently mispriced by the market.

## Is LKQ Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

LKQ's three-year median payout ratio to shareholders is 24%, which is quite low. This implies that the company is retaining 76% of its profits. This suggests that the management is reinvesting most of the profits to grow the business as evidenced by the growth seen by the company.

Along with seeing a growth in earnings, LKQ only recently started paying dividends. Its quite possible that the company was looking to impress its shareholders. Based on the latest analysts' estimates, we found that the company's future payout ratio over the next three years is expected to hold steady at 29%. Therefore, the company's future ROE is also not expected to change by much with analysts predicting an ROE of 16%.

## Conclusion

In total, we are pretty happy with LKQ's 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. Having said that, the company's earnings growth is expected to slow down, as forecasted in the current analyst estimates. 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.