Does The Market Have A Low Tolerance For Evonik Industries AG's (ETR:EVK) Mixed Fundamentals?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
March 14, 2022
XTRA:EVK
Source: Shutterstock

With its stock down 18% over the past month, it is easy to disregard Evonik Industries (ETR:EVK). It seems that the market might have completely ignored the positive aspects of the company's fundamentals and decided to weigh-in more on the negative aspects. Long-term fundamentals are usually what drive market outcomes, so it's worth paying close attention. Specifically, we decided to study Evonik Industries' ROE in this article.

Return on equity or ROE is a key measure used to assess how efficiently a company's management is utilizing the company's capital. Simply put, it is used to assess the profitability of a company in relation to its equity capital.

See our latest analysis for Evonik Industries

How To 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 Evonik Industries is:

8.2% = €769m ÷ €9.4b (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2021).

The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. Another way to think of that is that for every €1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn €0.08 in profit.

Why Is ROE Important For 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.

Evonik Industries' Earnings Growth And 8.2% ROE

To begin with, Evonik Industries seems to have a respectable ROE. Yet, the fact that the company's ROE is lower than the industry average of 15% does temper our expectations. Further research shows that Evonik Industries' net income has shrunk at a rate of 3.6% over the last five years. Not to forget, the company does have a high ROE to begin with, just that it is lower than the industry average. Hence there might be some other aspects that are causing earnings to shrink. For example, it could be that the company has a high payout ratio or the business has allocated capital poorly, for instance.

Next, on comparing with the industry net income growth, we found that Evonik Industries' earnings seems to be shrinking at a similar rate as the industry which shrunk at a rate of a rate of 3.1% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth
XTRA:EVK Past Earnings Growth March 14th 2022

Earnings growth is a huge factor in stock valuation. What investors need to determine next is if the expected earnings growth, or the lack of it, is already built into the share price. Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. Is Evonik Industries fairly valued compared to other companies? These 3 valuation measures might help you decide.

Is Evonik Industries Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

Evonik Industries has a high three-year median payout ratio of 83% (that is, it is retaining 17% of its profits). This suggests that the company is paying most of its profits as dividends to its shareholders. This goes some way in explaining why its earnings have been shrinking. 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.

In addition, Evonik Industries has been paying dividends over a period of eight years suggesting that keeping up dividend payments is preferred by the management even though earnings have been in decline. Upon studying the latest analysts' consensus data, we found that the company's future payout ratio is expected to drop to 49% over the next three years. As a result, the expected drop in Evonik Industries' payout ratio explains the anticipated rise in the company's future ROE to 11%, over the same period.

Summary

Overall, we have mixed feelings about Evonik Industries. Primarily, we are disappointed to see a lack of growth in earnings even in spite of a moderate ROE. Bear in mind, the company reinvests a small portion of its profits, which explains the lack of growth. 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. 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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