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Flowers Foods, Inc. (NYSE:FLO) Stock's On A Decline: Are Poor Fundamentals The Cause?

Simply Wall St ·  May 28 18:41

It is hard to get excited after looking at Flowers Foods' (NYSE:FLO) recent performance, when its stock has declined 4.8% over the past month. To decide if this trend could continue, we decided to look at its weak fundamentals as they shape the long-term market trends. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Flowers Foods' ROE today.

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. Simply put, it is used to assess the profitability of a company in relation to its equity capital.

How To Calculate Return On Equity?

The formula for return on equity is:

Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders' Equity

So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Flowers Foods is:

9.1% = US$126m ÷ US$1.4b (Based on the trailing twelve months to April 2024).

The 'return' is the yearly profit. So, this means that for every $1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of $0.09.

Why Is ROE Important For 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.

Flowers Foods' Earnings Growth And 9.1% ROE

On the face of it, Flowers Foods' ROE is not much to talk about. A quick further study shows that the company's ROE doesn't compare favorably to the industry average of 14% either. Thus, the low net income growth of 3.2% seen by Flowers Foods over the past five years could probably be the result of the low ROE.

Next, on comparing with the industry net income growth, we found that Flowers Foods' reported growth was lower than the industry growth of 13% over the last few years, which is not something we like to see.

past-earnings-growth
NYSE:FLO Past Earnings Growth May 28th 2024

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. This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. Is Flowers Foods fairly valued compared to other companies? These 3 valuation measures might help you decide.

Is Flowers Foods Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

Flowers Foods has a three-year median payout ratio of 83% (implying that it keeps only 17% of its profits), meaning that it pays out most of its profits to shareholders as dividends, and as a result, the company has seen low earnings growth.

Moreover, Flowers Foods has been paying dividends for at least ten years or more suggesting that management must have perceived that the shareholders prefer dividends over earnings growth. Upon studying the latest analysts' consensus data, we found that the company is expected to keep paying out approximately 77% of its profits over the next three years. Still, forecasts suggest that Flowers Foods' future ROE will rise to 20% even though the the company's payout ratio is not expected to change by much.

Summary

Overall, we would be extremely cautious before making any decision on Flowers Foods. Because the company is not reinvesting much into the business, and given the low ROE, it's not surprising to see the lack or absence of growth in its earnings. With that said, the latest industry analyst forecasts reveal that the company's earnings are expected to accelerate. 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.

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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.

The above content is for informational or educational purposes only and does not constitute any investment advice related to Futu. Although we strive to ensure the truthfulness, accuracy, and originality of all such content, we cannot guarantee it.
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