Stock Analysis

# Will Weakness in Dr. Martens plc's (LON:DOCS) Stock Prove Temporary Given Strong Fundamentals?

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It is hard to get excited after looking at Dr. Martens' (LON:DOCS) recent performance, when its stock has declined 26% over the past three months. However, stock prices are usually driven by a company’s financial performance over the long term, which in this case looks quite promising. Specifically, we decided to study Dr. Martens' 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.

See our latest analysis for Dr. Martens

## How To 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 Dr. Martens is:

51% = UK£177m ÷ UK£347m (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2022).

The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. One way to conceptualize this is that for each £1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made £0.51 in profit.

## Why Is ROE Important For Earnings Growth?

We have already established that ROE serves as an efficient profit-generating gauge for a company's future earnings. 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 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.

## Dr. Martens' Earnings Growth And 51% ROE

Firstly, we acknowledge that Dr. Martens has a significantly high ROE. Second, a comparison with the average ROE reported by the industry of 14% also doesn't go unnoticed by us. Under the circumstances, Dr. Martens' considerable five year net income growth of 45% was to be expected.

We then compared Dr. Martens' net income growth with the industry and we're pleased to see that the company's growth figure is higher when compared with the industry which has a growth rate of 18% in the same period.

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. This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. Is DOCS fairly valued? This infographic on the company's intrinsic value has everything you need to know.

## Is Dr. Martens Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

Dr. Martens has a three-year median payout ratio of 30% (where it is retaining 70% of its income) which is not too low or not too high. This suggests that its dividend is well covered, and given the high growth we discussed above, it looks like Dr. Martens is reinvesting its earnings efficiently.

While Dr. Martens has been growing its earnings, it only recently started to pay dividends which likely means that the company decided to impress new and existing shareholders with a dividend. 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 34%. However, Dr. Martens' future ROE is expected to decline to 30% despite there being not much change anticipated in the company's payout ratio.

## Summary

Overall, we are quite pleased with Dr. Martens' performance. Particularly, we like that the company is reinvesting heavily into its business, and at a high rate of return. Unsurprisingly, this has led to an impressive earnings growth. 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 latest analysts predictions for the company, check out this visualization of analyst forecasts for the company.

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