888 Holdings plc's (LON:888) Fundamentals Look Pretty Strong: Could The Market Be Wrong About The Stock?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
January 25, 2022
LSE:888
Source: Shutterstock

It is hard to get excited after looking at 888 Holdings' (LON:888) recent performance, when its stock has declined 38% over the past three months. However, stock prices are usually driven by a company’s financials over the long term, which in this case look pretty respectable. In this article, we decided to focus on 888 Holdings' ROE.

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 888 Holdings

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 888 Holdings is:

10% = US$17m ÷ US$162m (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2021).

The 'return' is the profit over the last twelve months. That means that for every £1 worth of shareholders' equity, the company generated £0.10 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 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.

A Side By Side comparison of 888 Holdings' Earnings Growth And 10% ROE

To start with, 888 Holdings' ROE looks acceptable. Especially when compared to the industry average of 7.4% the company's ROE looks pretty impressive. However, we are curious as to how the high returns still resulted in flat growth for 888 Holdings in the past five years. We reckon that there could be some other factors at play here that's limiting the company's growth. For example, it could be that the company has a high payout ratio or the business has allocated capital poorly, for instance.

We then compared 888 Holdings' performance with the industry and found that the company has shrunk its earnings at a slower rate than the industry earnings which has seen its earnings shrink by 25% in the same period. This does offer shareholders some relief

past-earnings-growth
LSE:888 Past Earnings Growth January 25th 2022

Earnings growth is a huge factor in stock valuation. 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. If you're wondering about 888 Holdings''s valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.

Is 888 Holdings Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

888 Holdings has a high three-year median payout ratio of 53% (or a retention ratio of 47%), meaning that the company is paying most of its profits as dividends to its shareholders. This does go some way in explaining why there's been no growth in its earnings.

Additionally, 888 Holdings has paid dividends over a period of nine years, which means that the company's management is determined to pay dividends even if it means little to no earnings growth. Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company is expected to rise to 81% over the next three years. However, 888 Holdings' future ROE is expected to rise to 40% despite the expected increase in the company's payout ratio. We infer that there could be other factors that could be driving the anticipated growth in the company's ROE.

Conclusion

Overall, we feel that 888 Holdings certainly does have some positive factors to consider. Yet, the low earnings growth is a bit concerning, especially given that the company has a high rate of return. Investors could have benefitted from the high ROE, had the company been reinvesting more of its earnings. As discussed earlier, the company is retaining a small portion of its profits. Having said that, looking at current analyst estimates, we found that the company's earnings growth rate is expected to see a huge improvement. 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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