# CSR Limited's (ASX:CSR) Stock On An Uptrend: Could Fundamentals Be Driving The Momentum?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
November 23, 2021

CSR's (ASX:CSR) stock is up by a considerable 13% over the past three months. As most would know, fundamentals are what usually guide market price movements over the long-term, so we decided to look at the company's key financial indicators today to determine if they have any role to play in the recent price movement. In this article, we decided to focus on CSR's ROE.

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. Put another way, it reveals the company's success at turning shareholder investments into profits.

Check out our latest analysis for CSR

### How To 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 CSR is:

24% = AU\$251m ÷ AU\$1.0b (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2021).

The 'return' is the income the business earned over the last year. One way to conceptualize this is that for each A\$1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made A\$0.24 in profit.

### 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 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.

### CSR's Earnings Growth And 24% ROE

First thing first, we like that CSR has an impressive ROE. Additionally, the company's ROE is higher compared to the industry average of 9.7% which is quite remarkable. Needless to say, we are quite surprised to see that CSR's net income shrunk at a rate of 3.2% over the past five years. Based on this, we feel that there might be other reasons which haven't been discussed so far in this article that could be hampering the company's growth. Such as, the company pays out a huge portion of its earnings as dividends, or is faced with competitive pressures.

We then compared CSR's performance with the industry and found that the company has shrunk its earnings at a slower rate than the industry earnings which has seen its earnings shrink by 11% in the same period. This does offer shareholders some relief

Earnings growth is an important metric to consider when valuing a stock. It’s important for an investor to know whether the market has priced in the company's expected earnings growth (or decline). Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. If you're wondering about CSR's's valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.

### Is CSR Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

With a high three-year median payout ratio of 63% (implying that 37% of the profits are retained), most of CSR's profits are being paid to shareholders, which explains the company's shrinking earnings. With only a little being reinvested into the business, earnings growth would obviously be low or non-existent.

In addition, CSR has been paying dividends over a period of at least ten years suggesting that keeping up dividend payments is way more important to the management even if it comes at the cost of business growth. Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company over the next three years is expected to be approximately 71%. Regardless, CSR's ROE is speculated to decline to 18% despite there being no anticipated change in its payout ratio.

### Summary

In total, it does look like CSR has some positive aspects to its business. Although, we are disappointed to see a lack of growth in earnings even in spite of a high ROE. Bear in mind, the company reinvests a small portion of its profits, which means that investors aren't reaping the benefits of the high rate of return. 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. 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.

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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

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### Simply Wall St

Simply Wall St is focused on providing unbiased, high-quality research coverage on every listed company in the world. Our research team consists of data scientists and multiple equity analysts with over two decades worth of financial markets experience between them.