Safety Insurance Group (NASDAQ:SAFT) has had a rough month with its share price down 15%. It seems that the market might have completely ignored the positive aspects of the company's fundamentals and decided to weigh-in more on the negative aspects. Fundamentals usually dictate market outcomes so it makes sense to study the company's financials. Specifically, we decided to study Safety Insurance Group's ROE in this article.
Return on equity or ROE is a key measure used to assess how efficiently a company's management is utilizing the company's capital. Put another way, it reveals the company's success at turning shareholder investments into profits.
View our latest analysis for Safety Insurance Group
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 Safety Insurance Group is:
5.7% = US$47m ÷ US$812m (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2022).
The 'return' is the income the business earned over the last year. So, this means that for every $1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of $0.06.
What Has ROE Got To Do With Earnings Growth?
So far, we've learned that ROE is a measure of a company's profitability. 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.
Safety Insurance Group's Earnings Growth And 5.7% ROE
At first glance, Safety Insurance Group's ROE doesn't look very promising. Next, when compared to the average industry ROE of 12%, the company's ROE leaves us feeling even less enthusiastic. Safety Insurance Group was still able to see a decent net income growth of 6.7% over the past five years. We reckon that there could be other factors at play here. 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.
As a next step, we compared Safety Insurance Group's net income growth with the industry and were disappointed to see that the company's growth is lower than the industry average growth of 14% in the same period.
The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. What investors need to determine next is if the expected earnings growth, or the lack of it, is already built into the share price. 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 Safety Insurance Group is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.
Is Safety Insurance Group Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?
The high three-year median payout ratio of 52% (or a retention ratio of 48%) for Safety Insurance Group suggests that the company's growth wasn't really hampered despite it returning most of its income to its shareholders.
Besides, Safety Insurance Group has been paying dividends for at least ten years or more. This shows that the company is committed to sharing profits with its shareholders.
On the whole, we feel that the performance shown by Safety Insurance Group can be open to many interpretations. While the company has posted a decent earnings growth, We do feel that the earnings growth number could have been even higher, had the company been reinvesting more of its earnings at a higher rate of return. Up till now, we've only made a short study of the company's growth data. You can do your own research on Safety Insurance Group and see how it has performed in the past by looking at this FREE detailed graph of past earnings, revenue and cash flows.
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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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