Most readers would already be aware that Costa Group Holdings' (ASX:CGC) stock increased significantly by 13% 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. Specifically, we decided to study Costa Group Holdings' ROE in this article.
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.
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 Costa Group Holdings is:
11% = AU$67m ÷ AU$617m (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2020).
The 'return' is the amount earned after tax over the last twelve months. So, this means that for every A$1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of A$0.11.
What Is The Relationship Between ROE And Earnings Growth?
Thus far, we have learned that ROE measures how efficiently a company is generating its profits. Based on how much of its profits the company chooses to reinvest or "retain", we are then able to evaluate a company's future ability to generate profits. 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.
Costa Group Holdings' Earnings Growth And 11% ROE
To start with, Costa Group Holdings' ROE looks acceptable. Further, the company's ROE compares quite favorably to the industry average of 5.3%. Needless to say, we are quite surprised to see that Costa Group Holdings' net income shrunk at a rate of 14% over the past five years. Therefore, there might be some other aspects that could explain this. For example, it could be that the company has a high payout ratio or the business has allocated capital poorly, for instance.
Next, when we compared with the industry, which has shrunk its earnings at a rate of 2.7% in the same period, we still found Costa Group Holdings' performance to be quite bleak, because the company has been shrinking its earnings faster than the industry.
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. This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. What is CGC worth today? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether CGC is currently mispriced by the market.
Is Costa Group Holdings Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?
In spite of a normal three-year median payout ratio of 37% (that is, a retention ratio of 63%), the fact that Costa Group Holdings' earnings have shrunk is quite puzzling. So there could be some other explanations in that regard. For instance, the company's business may be deteriorating.
In addition, Costa Group Holdings has been paying dividends over a period of five years suggesting that keeping up dividend payments is preferred by the management even though earnings have been in decline. Upon studying the latest analysts' consensus data, we found that the company's future payout ratio is expected to rise to 62% over the next three years. However, Costa Group Holdings' future ROE is expected to rise to 13% despite the expected increase in the company's payout ratio. We infer that there could be other factors that could be driving the anticipated growth in the company's ROE.
Overall, we feel that Costa Group Holdings certainly does have some positive factors to consider. However, given the high ROE and high profit retention, we would expect the company to be delivering strong earnings growth, but that isn't the case here. This suggests that there might be some external threat to the business, that's hampering its growth. With that said, we studied the latest analyst forecasts and found that while the company has shrunk its earnings in the past, analysts expect its earnings to grow 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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