Stock Analysis

Should Weakness in Apiam Animal Health Limited's (ASX:AHX) Stock Be Seen As A Sign That Market Will Correct The Share Price Given Decent Financials?

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ASX:AHX
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Apiam Animal Health (ASX:AHX) has had a rough three months with its share price down 14%. However, the company's fundamentals look pretty decent, and long-term financials are usually aligned with future market price movements. Specifically, we decided to study Apiam Animal Health's ROE in this article.

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. In simpler terms, it measures the profitability of a company in relation to shareholder's equity.

Check out our latest analysis for Apiam Animal Health

How Do You Calculate Return On Equity?

Return on equity can be calculated by using the formula:

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

So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Apiam Animal Health is:

6.3% = AU$4.3m ÷ AU$69m (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2020).

The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. Another way to think of that is that for every A$1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn A$0.06 in profit.

What Is The Relationship Between ROE And Earnings Growth?

So far, we've learned that ROE is a measure of a company's profitability. 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.

Apiam Animal Health's Earnings Growth And 6.3% ROE

On the face of it, Apiam Animal Health's 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 8.1% either. Although, we can see that Apiam Animal Health saw a modest net income growth of 13% over the past five years. So, there might be other aspects that are positively influencing the company's earnings growth. Such as - high earnings retention or an efficient management in place.

We then compared Apiam Animal Health'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 3.2% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth
ASX:AHX Past Earnings Growth January 18th 2021

The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. It’s important for an investor to know whether the market has priced in the company's expected earnings growth (or decline). 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 Apiam Animal Health is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.

Is Apiam Animal Health Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

Apiam Animal Health has a significant three-year median payout ratio of 53%, meaning that it is left with only 47% to reinvest into its business. This implies that the company has been able to achieve decent earnings growth despite returning most of its profits to shareholders.

Moreover, Apiam Animal Health is determined to keep sharing its profits with shareholders which we infer from its long history of four years of paying a dividend. Existing analyst estimates suggest that the company's future payout ratio is expected to drop to 27% over the next three years. The fact that the company's ROE is expected to rise to 11% over the same period is explained by the drop in the payout ratio.

Summary

On the whole, we do feel that Apiam Animal Health has some positive attributes. That is, quite an impressive growth in earnings. However, the low profit retention means that the company's earnings growth could have been higher, had it been reinvesting a higher portion of its profits. We also studied the latest analyst forecasts and found that the company's earnings growth is expected be similar to 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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