Has EVN AG's (VIE:EVN) Impressive Stock Performance Got Anything to Do With Its Fundamentals?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
September 02, 2021
WBAG:EVN
Source: Shutterstock

Most readers would already be aware that EVN's (VIE:EVN) stock increased significantly by 20% over the past three months. We wonder if and what role the company's financials play in that price change as a company's long-term fundamentals usually dictate market outcomes. Particularly, we will be paying attention to EVN's ROE today.

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 EVN

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 EVN is:

4.9% = €255m ÷ €5.2b (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2021).

The 'return' is the amount earned after tax over the last twelve months. So, this means that for every €1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of €0.05.

What Has ROE Got To Do With Earnings Growth?

We have already established that ROE serves as an efficient profit-generating gauge for a company's future earnings. 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 all else is equal, companies that have both a higher return on equity and higher profit retention are usually the ones that have a higher growth rate when compared to companies that don't have the same features.

A Side By Side comparison of EVN's Earnings Growth And 4.9% ROE

On the face of it, EVN's ROE is not much to talk about. Next, when compared to the average industry ROE of 9.1%, the company's ROE leaves us feeling even less enthusiastic. EVN was still able to see a decent net income growth of 7.9% over the past five years. So, the growth in the company's earnings could probably have been caused by other variables. For instance, the company has a low payout ratio or is being managed efficiently.

As a next step, we compared EVN'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 5.2%.

past-earnings-growth
WBAG:EVN Past Earnings Growth September 3rd 2021

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 EVN is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.

Is EVN Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

EVN has a three-year median payout ratio of 32%, which implies that it retains the remaining 68% 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.

Besides, EVN has been paying dividends for at least ten years or more. This shows that the company is committed to sharing profits with its shareholders. Looking at the current analyst consensus data, we can see that the company's future payout ratio is expected to rise to 39% over the next three years. However, the company's ROE is not expected to change by much despite the higher expected payout ratio.

Conclusion

In total, it does look like EVN has some positive aspects to its business. Even in spite of the low rate of return, the company has posted impressive earnings growth as a result of reinvesting heavily into its business. The latest industry analyst forecasts show that the company is expected to maintain its current growth rate. Are these analysts expectations based on the broad expectations for the industry, or on the company's fundamentals? Click here to be taken to our analyst's forecasts page for the company.

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