# Paul Hartmann AG's (FRA:PHH2) Stock Has Seen Strong Momentum: Does That Call For Deeper Study Of Its Financial Prospects?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
February 02, 2021

Most readers would already be aware that Paul Hartmann's (FRA:PHH2) stock increased significantly by 19% over the past three months. Given that stock prices are usually aligned with a company's financial performance in the long-term, we decided to study its financial indicators more closely to see if they had a hand to play in the recent price move. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Paul Hartmann's ROE today.

Return on equity or ROE is a key measure used to assess how efficiently a company's management is utilizing the company's capital. Put another way, it reveals the company's success at turning shareholder investments into profits.

View our latest analysis for Paul Hartmann

### How To Calculate Return On Equity?

ROE 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 Paul Hartmann is:

10% = €97m ÷ €965m (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2020).

The 'return' is the profit over the last twelve months. So, this means that for every €1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of €0.10.

### Why Is ROE Important For Earnings Growth?

So far, we've learned that ROE is a measure of a company's profitability. 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 all else is equal, companies that have both a higher return on equity and higher profit retention are usually the ones that have a higher growth rate when compared to companies that don't have the same features.

### A Side By Side comparison of Paul Hartmann's Earnings Growth And 10% ROE

To begin with, Paul Hartmann seems to have a respectable ROE. Be that as it may, the company's ROE is still quite lower than the industry average of 13%. Further, Paul Hartmann's five year net income growth of -1.6% is more or less flat. Bear in mind, the company does have a respectable level of ROE. It is just that the industry ROE is higher. Therefore, the flat earnings growth could be the result of other factors. Such as, the company pays out a huge portion of its earnings as dividends, or is faced with competitve pressures.

As a next step, we compared Paul Hartmann's net income growth with the industry and discovered that the industry saw an average growth of 7.0% in the same period.

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). This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. Is Paul Hartmann fairly valued compared to other companies? These 3 valuation measures might help you decide.

### Is Paul Hartmann Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

Despite having a moderate three-year median payout ratio of 30% (meaning the company retains70% of profits) in the last three-year period, Paul Hartmann's earnings growth was more or les flat. So there might be other factors at play here which could potentially be hampering growth. For example, the business has faced some headwinds.

Moreover, Paul Hartmann 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.

### Summary

Overall, we feel that Paul Hartmann certainly does have some positive factors to consider. Yet, the low earnings growth is a bit concerning, especially given that the company has a respectable rate of return and is reinvesting a huge portion of its profits. By the looks of it, there could be some other factors, not necessarily in control of the business, that's preventing growth. Up till now, we've only made a short study of the company's growth data. To gain further insights into Paul Hartmann's past profit growth, check out this visualization of past earnings, revenue and cash flows.

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