SCOR's (EPA:SCR) stock up by 5.4% over the past three months. Given that the markets usually pay for the long-term financial health of a company, we wonder if the current momentum in the share price will keep up, given that the company's financials don't look very promising. In this article, we decided to focus on SCOR's ROE.
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 SCOR is:
3.7% = €230m ÷ €6.2b (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2020).
The 'return' is the amount earned after tax over the last twelve months. That means that for every €1 worth of shareholders' equity, the company generated €0.04 in profit.
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. 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 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 SCOR's Earnings Growth And 3.7% ROE
At first glance, SCOR's ROE doesn't look very promising. Next, when compared to the average industry ROE of 8.6%, the company's ROE leaves us feeling even less enthusiastic. Given the circumstances, the significant decline in net income by 19% seen by SCOR over the last five years is not surprising. We believe that there also might be other aspects that are negatively influencing the company's earnings prospects. For example, it is possible that the business has allocated capital poorly or that the company has a very high payout ratio.
Furthermore, even when compared to the industry, which has been shrinking its earnings at a rate 6.4% in the same period, we found that SCOR's performance is pretty disappointing, as it suggests that the company has been shrunk its earnings at a rate faster than the industry.
The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. 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. Is SCR fairly valued? This infographic on the company's intrinsic value has everything you need to know.
Is SCOR Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?
SCOR's very high three-year median payout ratio of 108% over the last three years suggests that the company is paying its shareholders more than what it is earning and this explains the company's shrinking earnings. Its usually very hard to sustain dividend payments that are higher than reported profits. Our risks dashboard should have the 3 risks we have identified for SCOR.
In addition, SCOR has been paying dividends over a period of at least ten years suggesting that keeping up dividend payments is way more important to the management even if it comes at the cost of business growth. Existing analyst estimates suggest that the company's future payout ratio is expected to drop to 57% over the next three years. The fact that the company's ROE is expected to rise to 10% over the same period is explained by the drop in the payout ratio.
On the whole, SCOR's performance is quite a big let-down. The low ROE, combined with the fact that the company is paying out almost if not all, of its profits as dividends, has resulted in the lack or absence of growth in its earnings. 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. Are these analysts expectations based on the broad expectations for the industry, or on the company's fundamentals? Click here to be taken to our analyst's forecasts page for the company.
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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. 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.
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