Is Clariant AG's (VTX:CLN) Stock On A Downtrend As A Result Of Its Poor Financials?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
October 20, 2021
SWX:CLN
Source: Shutterstock

It is hard to get excited after looking at Clariant's (VTX:CLN) recent performance, when its stock has declined 5.2% over the past three months. We decided to study the company's financials to determine if the downtrend will continue as the long-term performance of a company usually dictates market outcomes. Specifically, we decided to study Clariant's ROE in this article.

Return on equity or ROE is an important factor to be considered by a shareholder because it tells them how effectively their capital is being reinvested. In simpler terms, it measures the profitability of a company in relation to shareholder's equity.

Check out our latest analysis for Clariant

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 Clariant is:

6.1% = CHF148m ÷ CHF2.4b (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2021).

The 'return' is the yearly profit. That means that for every CHF1 worth of shareholders' equity, the company generated CHF0.06 in profit.

Why Is ROE Important For 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. 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.

Clariant's Earnings Growth And 6.1% ROE

At first glance, Clariant's ROE doesn't look very promising. Next, when compared to the average industry ROE of 21%, the company's ROE leaves us feeling even less enthusiastic. Therefore, it might not be wrong to say that the five year net income decline of 28% seen by Clariant was probably the result of it having a lower ROE. We believe that there also might be other aspects that are negatively influencing the company's earnings prospects. Such as - low earnings retention or poor allocation of capital.

So, as a next step, we compared Clariant's performance against the industry and were disappointed to discover that while the company has been shrinking its earnings, the industry has been growing its earnings at a rate of 6.9% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth
SWX:CLN Past Earnings Growth October 21st 2021

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. By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. Has the market priced in the future outlook for CLN? You can find out in our latest intrinsic value infographic research report.

Is Clariant Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

With a high three-year median payout ratio of 66% (implying that 34% of the profits are retained), most of Clariant's profits are being paid to shareholders, which explains the company's shrinking earnings. The business is only left with a small pool of capital to reinvest - A vicious cycle that doesn't benefit the company in the long-run. To know the 2 risks we have identified for Clariant visit our risks dashboard for free.

Moreover, Clariant has been paying dividends for at least ten years or more suggesting that management must have perceived that the shareholders prefer dividends over earnings growth. Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company is expected to drop to 48% over the next three years. As a result, the expected drop in Clariant's payout ratio explains the anticipated rise in the company's future ROE to 13%, over the same period.

Summary

In total, we would have a hard think before deciding on any investment action concerning Clariant. The company has seen a lack of earnings growth as a result of retaining very little profits and whatever little it does retain, is being reinvested at a very low rate of return. That being so, the latest industry analyst forecasts show that the analysts are expecting to see a huge improvement in the company's earnings growth rate. 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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