Manulife Financial Corporation's (TSE:MFC) Stock Has Fared Decently: Is the Market Following Strong Financials?

Manulife Financial’s (TSE:MFC) stock is up by 3.5% over the past month. 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 Manulife Financial’s ROE today.

Return on Equity or ROE is a test of how effectively a company is growing its value and managing investors’ money. In other words, it is a profitability ratio which measures the rate of return on the capital provided by the company’s shareholders.

See our latest analysis for Manulife Financial

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 Manulife Financial is:

12% = CA$6.7b ÷ CA$56b (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2021).

The ‘return’ is the amount earned after tax over the last twelve months. That means that for every CA$1 worth of shareholders’ equity, the company generated CA$0.12 in profit.

Why Is ROE Important For 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.

Manulife Financial’s Earnings Growth And 12% ROE

To begin with, Manulife Financial seems to have a respectable ROE. Even when compared to the industry average of 13% the company’s ROE looks quite decent. This probably goes some way in explaining Manulife Financial’s moderate 19% growth over the past five years amongst other factors.

We then compared Manulife Financial’s net income growth with the industry and we’re pleased to see that the company’s growth figure is higher when compared with the industry which has a growth rate of 15% in the same period.

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. This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. If you’re wondering about Manulife Financial’s’s valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.

Is Manulife Financial Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

Manulife Financial has a three-year median payout ratio of 39%, which implies that it retains the remaining 61% of its profits. This suggests that its dividend is well covered, and given the decent growth seen by the company, it looks like management is reinvesting its earnings efficiently.

Moreover, Manulife Financial is determined to keep sharing its profits with shareholders which we infer from its long history of paying a dividend for at least ten years. Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company is expected to rise to 57% over the next three years. Accordingly, the expected increase in the payout ratio explains the expected decline in the company’s ROE to 8.4%, over the same period.

Summary

Overall, we are quite pleased with Manulife Financial’s performance. In particular, it’s great to see that the company is investing heavily into its business and along with a high rate of return, that has resulted in a sizeable growth in its earnings. Having said that, on studying current analyst estimates, we were concerned to see that while the company has grown its earnings in the past, analysts expect its earnings to shrink in the future. To know more about the latest analysts predictions for the company, check out this visualization of analyst forecasts for the company.

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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.