Stock Analysis

Is Mayfield Childcare Limited's (ASX:MFD) Latest Stock Performance Being Led By Its Strong Fundamentals?

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ASX:MFD
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Mayfield Childcare's (ASX:MFD) stock up by 5.0% over the past week. 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. Specifically, we decided to study Mayfield Childcare's ROE in this article.

Return on equity or ROE is a key measure used to assess how efficiently a company's management is utilizing the company's capital. In other words, it is a profitability ratio which measures the rate of return on the capital provided by the company's shareholders.

Check out our latest analysis for Mayfield Childcare

How Do You Calculate Return On Equity?

The formula for ROE is:

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

So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Mayfield Childcare is:

12% = AU$3.7m ÷ AU$30m (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2020).

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

Mayfield Childcare's Earnings Growth And 12% ROE

At first glance, Mayfield Childcare seems to have a decent ROE. On comparing with the average industry ROE of 9.8% the company's ROE looks pretty remarkable. This certainly adds some context to Mayfield Childcare's exceptional 25% net income growth seen over the past five years. We reckon that there could also be other factors at play here. For example, it is possible that the company's management has made some good strategic decisions, or that the company has a low payout ratio.

As a next step, we compared Mayfield Childcare'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 17%.

past-earnings-growth
ASX:MFD Past Earnings Growth March 17th 2021

Earnings growth is an important metric to consider when valuing a stock. What investors need to determine next is if the expected earnings growth, or the lack of it, is already built into the share price. 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 Mayfield Childcare is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.

Is Mayfield Childcare Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

The high three-year median payout ratio of 69% (implying that it keeps only 31% of profits) for Mayfield Childcare suggests that the company's growth wasn't really hampered despite it returning most of the earnings to its shareholders.

Additionally, Mayfield Childcare has paid dividends over a period of three years which means that the company is pretty serious about sharing its profits with shareholders. Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company over the next three years is expected to be approximately 60%. Accordingly, forecasts suggest that Mayfield Childcare's future ROE will be 12% which is again, similar to the current ROE.

Summary

In total, we are pretty happy with Mayfield Childcare's performance. Especially the high ROE, Which has contributed to the impressive growth seen in earnings. Despite the company reinvesting only a small portion of its profits, it still has managed to grow its earnings so that is appreciable. That being so, a study of the latest analyst forecasts show that the company is expected to see a slowdown in its future earnings growth. 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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