It is hard to get excited after looking at Bouygues' (EPA:EN) recent performance, when its stock has declined 7.8% over the past three months. However, a closer look at its sound financials might cause you to think again. Given that fundamentals usually drive long-term market outcomes, the company is worth looking at. Specifically, we decided to study Bouygues' 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. In other words, it is a profitability ratio which measures the rate of return on the capital provided by the company's shareholders.
How To Calculate Return On Equity?
The formula for return on equity is:
Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders' Equity
So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Bouygues is:
11% = €1.3b ÷ €12b (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2021).
The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. So, this means that for every €1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of €0.11.
What Has ROE Got To Do With Earnings Growth?
Thus far, we have learned that ROE measures how efficiently a company is generating its profits. 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. 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.
A Side By Side comparison of Bouygues' Earnings Growth And 11% ROE
At first glance, Bouygues seems to have a decent ROE. Even when compared to the industry average of 11% the company's ROE looks quite decent. Bouygues' decent returns aren't reflected in Bouygues'mediocre five year net income growth average of 3.9%. A few likely reasons that could be keeping earnings growth low are - the company has a high payout ratio or the business has allocated capital poorly, for instance.
Given that the industry shrunk its earnings at a rate of 5.6% in the same period, the net income growth of the company is quite impressive.
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. Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. Is EN fairly valued? This infographic on the company's intrinsic value has everything you need to know.
Is Bouygues Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?
With a high three-year median payout ratio of 53% (or a retention ratio of 47%), most of Bouygues' profits are being paid to shareholders. This definitely contributes to the low earnings growth seen by the company.
Additionally, Bouygues has paid dividends over a period of at least ten years, which means that the company's management is determined to pay dividends even if it means little to no earnings growth. Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company over the next three years is expected to be approximately 47%. As a result, Bouygues' ROE is not expected to change by much either, which we inferred from the analyst estimate of 11% for future ROE.
On the whole, we feel that Bouygues' performance has been quite good. In particular, its high ROE is quite noteworthy and also the probable explanation behind its considerable earnings growth. Yet, the company is retaining a small portion of its profits. Which means that the company has been able to grow its earnings in spite of it, so that's not too bad. 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.