# The Mosaic Company's (NYSE:MOS) Stock Has Seen Strong Momentum: Does That Call For Deeper Study Of Its Financial Prospects?

Simply Wall St ·  Apr 10 06:21

Mosaic (NYSE:MOS) has had a great run on the share market with its stock up by a significant 5.4% over the last month. Given that stock prices are usually aligned with a company's financial performance in the long-term, we decided to study its financial indicators more closely to see if they had a hand to play in the recent price move. In this article, we decided to focus on Mosaic's ROE.

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.

## 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 Mosaic is:

9.7% = US\$1.2b ÷ US\$12b (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2023).

The 'return' is the amount earned after tax over the last twelve months. Another way to think of that is that for every \$1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn \$0.10 in profit.

## What Has ROE Got To Do With 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. 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.

## Mosaic's Earnings Growth And 9.7% ROE

At first glance, Mosaic's ROE doesn't look very promising. We then compared the company's ROE to the broader industry and were disappointed to see that the ROE is lower than the industry average of 13%. In spite of this, Mosaic was able to grow its net income considerably, at a rate of 44% in the last five years. So, 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.

We then compared Mosaic'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 14% in the same 5-year period.

Earnings growth is an important metric to consider when valuing a stock. The investor should try to establish if the expected growth or decline in earnings, whichever the case may be, is priced in. By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. Has the market priced in the future outlook for MOS? You can find out in our latest intrinsic value infographic research report.

## Is Mosaic Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

Mosaic has a really low three-year median payout ratio of 6.4%, meaning that it has the remaining 94% left over to reinvest into its business. This suggests that the management is reinvesting most of the profits to grow the business as evidenced by the growth seen by the company.

Additionally, Mosaic has paid dividends over a period of at least ten years which means that the company is pretty serious about sharing its profits with shareholders. Upon studying the latest analysts' consensus data, we found that the company's future payout ratio is expected to rise to 28% over the next three years. Accordingly, the expected increase in the payout ratio explains the expected decline in the company's ROE to 6.4%, over the same period.

## Summary

In total, it does look like Mosaic has some positive aspects to its business. Despite its low rate of return, the fact that the company reinvests a very high portion of its profits into its business, no doubt contributed to its high earnings growth. 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 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.

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