Inspired Energy PLC's (LON:INSE) Has Been On A Rise But Financial Prospects Look Weak: Is The Stock Overpriced?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
February 15, 2021
AIM:INSE

Inspired Energy's (LON:INSE) stock is up by a considerable 21% over the past three months. However, in this article, we decided to focus on its weak fundamentals, as long-term financial performance of a business is what ultimatley dictates market outcomes. Specifically, we decided to study Inspired Energy's ROE in this article.

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.

Check out our latest analysis for Inspired Energy

How To 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 Inspired Energy is:

6.2% = UK£3.2m ÷ UK£52m (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2020).

The 'return' is the yearly profit. One way to conceptualize this is that for each £1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made £0.06 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 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.

Inspired Energy's Earnings Growth And 6.2% ROE

When you first look at it, Inspired Energy's ROE doesn't look that attractive. We then compared the company's ROE to the broader industry and were disappointed to see that the ROE is lower than the industry average of 9.2%. Given the circumstances, the significant decline in net income by 3.0% seen by Inspired Energy over the last five years is not surprising. We reckon that there could also be other factors at play here. For example, it is possible that the business has allocated capital poorly or that the company has a very high payout ratio.

That being said, we compared Inspired Energy's performance with the industry and were concerned when we found that while the company has shrunk its earnings, the industry has grown its earnings at a rate of 11% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth
AIM:INSE Past Earnings Growth February 15th 2021

Earnings growth is an important metric to consider when valuing a stock. The investor should try to establish if the expected growth or decline in earnings, whichever the case may be, is priced in. Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. Is Inspired Energy fairly valued compared to other companies? These 3 valuation measures might help you decide.

Is Inspired Energy Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

Inspired Energy's very high three-year median payout ratio of 118% 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. Paying a dividend higher than reported profits is not a sustainable move. To know the 4 risks we have identified for Inspired Energy visit our risks dashboard for free.

In addition, Inspired Energy has been paying dividends over a period of eight years suggesting that keeping up dividend payments is preferred by the management even though earnings have been in decline. Upon studying the latest analysts' consensus data, we found that the company's future payout ratio is expected to drop to 33% over the next three years.

Summary

In total, we would have a hard think before deciding on any investment action concerning Inspired Energy. Specifically, it has shown quite an unsatisfactory performance as far as earnings growth is concerned, and a poor ROE and an equally poor rate of reinvestment seem to be the reason behind this inadequate performance. 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. 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. 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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