Diploma PLC's (LON:DPLM) Stock Has Shown Weakness Lately But Financial Prospects Look Decent: Is The Market Wrong?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
March 15, 2022
LSE:DPLM
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It is hard to get excited after looking at Diploma's (LON:DPLM) recent performance, when its stock has declined 17% over the past three months. However, the company's fundamentals look pretty decent, and long-term financials are usually aligned with future market price movements. Specifically, we decided to study Diploma's ROE in this article.

Return on equity or ROE is an important factor to be considered by a shareholder because it tells them how effectively their capital is being reinvested. 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 Diploma

How Is ROE Calculated?

The formula for ROE is:

Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders' Equity

So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Diploma is:

13% = UK£70m ÷ UK£541m (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2021).

The 'return' is the amount earned after tax over the last twelve months. So, this means that for every £1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of £0.13.

Why Is ROE Important For Earnings Growth?

Thus far, we have learned that ROE measures how efficiently a company is generating its profits. 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. 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 Diploma's Earnings Growth And 13% ROE

To start with, Diploma's ROE looks acceptable. Even so, when compared with the average industry ROE of 19%, we aren't very excited. Although, we can see that Diploma saw a modest net income growth of 7.0% over the past five years. Therefore, the growth in earnings could probably have been caused by other variables. Such as - high earnings retention or an efficient management in place. However, not to forget, the company does have a decent ROE to begin with, just that it is lower than the industry average. So this also does lend some color to the fairly high earnings growth seen by the company.

As a next step, we compared Diploma's net income growth with the industry and were disappointed to see that the company's growth is lower than the industry average growth of 11% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth
LSE:DPLM Past Earnings Growth March 15th 2022

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. By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. Is Diploma fairly valued compared to other companies? These 3 valuation measures might help you decide.

Is Diploma Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

Diploma has a significant three-year median payout ratio of 53%, meaning that it is left with only 47% to reinvest into its business. This implies that the company has been able to achieve decent earnings growth despite returning most of its profits to shareholders.

Additionally, Diploma has paid dividends over a period of at least ten years which means that the company is pretty serious about sharing its profits with shareholders. Based on the latest analysts' estimates, we found that the company's future payout ratio over the next three years is expected to hold steady at 48%. Regardless, the future ROE for Diploma is predicted to rise to 19% despite there being not much change expected in its payout ratio.

Summary

Overall, we feel that Diploma certainly does have some positive factors to consider. True, the company has posted a respectable growth in earnings. However, the earnings growth number could have been even higher, had the company been reinvesting more of its earnings and paying out less dividends. With that said, the latest industry analyst forecasts reveal that the company's earnings are expected to accelerate. To know more about the company's future earnings growth forecasts take a look at this free report on analyst forecasts for the company to find out more.

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