Should Weakness in Vesuvius plc's (LON:VSVS) Stock Be Seen As A Sign That Market Will Correct The Share Price Given Decent Financials?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
April 21, 2022
LSE:VSVS
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Vesuvius (LON:VSVS) has had a rough three months with its share price down 32%. However, the company's fundamentals look pretty decent, and long-term financials are usually aligned with future market price movements. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Vesuvius' ROE today.

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.

View our latest analysis for Vesuvius

How Do You Calculate Return On Equity?

ROE 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 Vesuvius is:

9.8% = UK£108m ÷ UK£1.1b (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2021).

The 'return' is the income the business earned over the last year. Another way to think of that is that for every £1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn £0.10 in profit.

Why Is ROE Important For Earnings Growth?

So far, we've learned that ROE is a measure of a company's profitability. 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 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.

Vesuvius' Earnings Growth And 9.8% ROE

To begin with, Vesuvius seems to have a respectable ROE. Further, the company's ROE is similar to the industry average of 12%. Despite the moderate return on equity, Vesuvius has posted a net income growth of 2.7% over the past five years. So, there could be some other factors at play that could be impacting the company's growth. For instance, the company pays out a huge portion of its earnings as dividends, or is faced with competitive pressures.

Next, on comparing with the industry net income growth, we found that Vesuvius' reported growth was lower than the industry growth of 7.5% in the same period, which is not something we like to see.

past-earnings-growth
LSE:VSVS Past Earnings Growth April 21st 2022

Earnings growth is an important metric to consider when valuing a stock. 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. Has the market priced in the future outlook for VSVS? You can find out in our latest intrinsic value infographic research report.

Is Vesuvius Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

Despite having a moderate three-year median payout ratio of 43% (implying that the company retains the remaining 57% of its income), Vesuvius' earnings growth was quite low. So there could be some other explanation in that regard. For instance, the company's business may be deteriorating.

In addition, Vesuvius 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. 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 45%. Regardless, the future ROE for Vesuvius is predicted to rise to 12% despite there being not much change expected in its payout ratio.

Summary

In total, it does look like Vesuvius has some positive aspects to its business. Yet, the low earnings growth is a bit concerning, especially given that the company has a high rate of return and is reinvesting ma huge portion of its profits. By the looks of it, there could be some other factors, not necessarily in control of the business, that's preventing growth. 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 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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