James Halstead plc's (LON:JHD) Stock Has Been Sliding But Fundamentals Look Strong: Is The Market Wrong?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
January 11, 2022
AIM:JHD
Source: Shutterstock

It is hard to get excited after looking at James Halstead's (LON:JHD) recent performance, when its stock has declined 4.2% over the past week. 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 James Halstead's ROE in this article.

ROE or return on equity is a useful tool to assess how effectively a company can generate returns on the investment it received from its shareholders. In other words, it is a profitability ratio which measures the rate of return on the capital provided by the company's shareholders.

See our latest analysis for James Halstead

How Do You 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 James Halstead is:

25% = UK£40m ÷ UK£156m (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2021).

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 £0.25.

What Has ROE Got To Do With 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 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.

James Halstead's Earnings Growth And 25% ROE

First thing first, we like that James Halstead has an impressive ROE. Second, a comparison with the average ROE reported by the industry of 14% also doesn't go unnoticed by us. Despite this, James Halstead's five year net income growth was quite flat over the past five years. Based on this, we feel that there might be other reasons which haven't been discussed so far in this article that could be hampering the company's growth. Such as, the company pays out a huge portion of its earnings as dividends, or is faced with competitive pressures.

When you consider the fact that the industry earnings have shrunk at a rate of 8.0% in the same period, the company's net income growth is pretty remarkable.

past-earnings-growth
AIM:JHD Past Earnings Growth January 11th 2022

Earnings growth is a huge factor in stock valuation. It’s important for an investor to know whether the market has priced in the company's expected earnings growth (or decline). Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. Is James Halstead fairly valued compared to other companies? These 3 valuation measures might help you decide.

Is James Halstead Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

With a high three-year median payout ratio of 77% (implying that the company keeps only 23% of its income) of its business to reinvest into its business), most of James Halstead's profits are being paid to shareholders, which explains the absence of growth in earnings.

Moreover, James Halstead 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 over the next three years is expected to be approximately 83%. As a result, James Halstead's ROE is not expected to change by much either, which we inferred from the analyst estimate of 24% for future ROE.

Conclusion

Overall, we are quite pleased with James Halstead's performance. 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. That being so, the latest analyst forecasts show that the company will continue to see an expansion in its earnings. 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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