With its stock down 7.4% over the past three months, it is easy to disregard Sul América (BVMF:SULA11). It is possible that the markets have ignored the company's differing financials and decided to lean-in to the negative sentiment. Long-term fundamentals are usually what drive market outcomes, so it's worth paying close attention. Specifically, we decided to study Sul América's 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 short, ROE shows the profit each dollar generates with respect to its shareholder investments.
How Is ROE Calculated?
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 Sul América is:
4.9% = R$406m ÷ R$8.3b (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2021).
The 'return' is the profit over the last twelve months. So, this means that for every R$1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of R$0.05.
Why Is ROE Important For 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. 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.
Sul América's Earnings Growth And 4.9% ROE
It is quite clear that Sul América's ROE is rather low. Even when compared to the industry average of 18%, the ROE figure is pretty disappointing. Therefore, Sul América's flat earnings over the past five years can possibly be explained by the low ROE amongst other factors.
We then compared Sul América's net income growth with the industry and found that the company's growth figure is lower than the average industry growth rate of 5.9% in the same period, which is a bit concerning.
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. This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. Is Sul América fairly valued compared to other companies? These 3 valuation measures might help you decide.
Is Sul América Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?
While the company did pay out a portion of its dividend in the past, it currently doesn't pay a dividend. We infer that the company has been reinvesting all of its profits to grow its business.
On the whole, we feel that the performance shown by Sul América can be open to many interpretations. While the company does have a high rate of profit retention, its low rate of return is probably hampering its earnings growth. Having said that, looking at the current analyst estimates, we found that the company's earnings are expected to gain momentum. To know more about the latest analysts predictions for the company, check out this visualization of analyst forecasts for the company.
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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.