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Should Weakness in RWS Holdings plc's (LON:RWS) Stock Be Seen As A Sign That Market Will Correct The Share Price Given Decent Financials?
RWS Holdings (LON:RWS) has had a rough month with its share price down 13%. 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 RWS Holdings' ROE today.
Return on equity or ROE is a key measure used to assess how efficiently a company's management is utilizing the company's capital. 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 RWS Holdings
How Do You Calculate Return On Equity?
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 RWS Holdings is:
5.5% = UK£63m ÷ UK£1.1b (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2022).
The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. That means that for every £1 worth of shareholders' equity, the company generated £0.05 in profit.
What Has ROE Got To Do With Earnings Growth?
We have already established that ROE serves as an efficient profit-generating gauge for a company's future earnings. 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.
RWS Holdings' Earnings Growth And 5.5% ROE
At first glance, RWS Holdings' ROE doesn't look very promising. A quick further study shows that the company's ROE doesn't compare favorably to the industry average of 19% either. Although, we can see that RWS Holdings saw a modest net income growth of 15% over the past five years. So, there might be other aspects that are positively influencing the company's earnings growth. For example, it is possible that the company's management has made some good strategic decisions, or that the company has a low payout ratio.
Next, on comparing with the industry net income growth, we found that RWS Holdings' growth is quite high when compared to the industry average growth of 5.1% in the same period, which is great to see.
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. This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. One good indicator of expected earnings growth is the P/E ratio which determines the price the market is willing to pay for a stock based on its earnings prospects. So, you may want to check if RWS Holdings is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.
Is RWS Holdings Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?
The high three-year median payout ratio of 73% (or a retention ratio of 27%) for RWS Holdings suggests that the company's growth wasn't really hampered despite it returning most of its income to its shareholders.
Besides, RWS Holdings has been paying dividends for at least ten years or more. This shows that the company is committed to sharing profits with its shareholders. Existing analyst estimates suggest that the company's future payout ratio is expected to drop to 46% over the next three years. As a result, the expected drop in RWS Holdings' payout ratio explains the anticipated rise in the company's future ROE to 10%, over the same period.
Overall, we feel that RWS Holdings certainly does have some positive factors to consider. That is, quite an impressive growth in earnings. However, the low profit retention means that the company's earnings growth could have been higher, had it been reinvesting a higher portion of its profits. That being so, a study of the latest analyst forecasts show that the company is expected to see a slowdown in its future earnings growth. 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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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.
RWS Holdings plc provides technology-enabled language, content management, and intellectual property (IP) services.
Flawless balance sheet with solid track record and pays a dividend.