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Are Strong Financial Prospects The Force That Is Driving The Momentum In Kadant Inc.'s NYSE:KAI) Stock?

Most readers would already be aware that Kadant's (NYSE:KAI) stock increased significantly by 17% over the past three months. Given the company's impressive performance, we decided to study its financial indicators more closely as a company's financial health over the long-term usually dictates market outcomes. Specifically, we decided to study Kadant's ROE in this article.

Return on Equity or ROE is a test of how effectively a company is growing its value and managing investors’ money. Simply put, it is used to assess the profitability of a company in relation to its equity capital.

How To 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 Kadant is:

12% = US$60m ÷ US$504m (Based on the trailing twelve months to April 2021).

The 'return' is the income the business earned over the last year. One way to conceptualize this is that for each $1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made $0.12 in profit.

What Is The Relationship Between ROE And Earnings Growth?

We have already established that ROE serves as an efficient profit-generating gauge for a company's future earnings. 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.

Kadant's Earnings Growth And 12% ROE

To begin with, Kadant seems to have a respectable ROE. Further, the company's ROE is similar to the industry average of 12%. This certainly adds some context to Kadant's moderate 13% net income growth seen over the past five years.

As a next step, we compared Kadant's net income growth with the industry, and pleasingly, we found that the growth seen by the company is higher than the average industry growth of 8.0%.

past-earnings-growthNYSE:KAI Past Earnings Growth May 18th 2021

Earnings growth is an important metric to consider when valuing a stock. 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. 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 Kadant is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.

Is Kadant Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

Kadant has a low three-year median payout ratio of 20%, meaning that the company retains the remaining 80% of its profits. This suggests that the management is reinvesting most of the profits to grow the business.

Moreover, Kadant is determined to keep sharing its profits with shareholders which we infer from its long history of eight years of paying a dividend.

Summary

In total, we are pretty happy with Kadant'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. We also studied the latest analyst forecasts and found that the company's earnings growth is expected be similar to its current growth rate. 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.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. 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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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