Stock Analysis

Essentra plc's (LON:ESNT) Stock Has Seen Strong Momentum: Does That Call For Deeper Study Of Its Financial Prospects?

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LSE:ESNT
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Most readers would already be aware that Essentra's (LON:ESNT) stock increased significantly by 23% over the past three months. As most would know, fundamentals are what usually guide market price movements over the long-term, so we decided to look at the company's key financial indicators today to determine if they have any role to play in the recent price movement. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Essentra's ROE today.

Return on Equity or ROE is a test of how effectively a company is growing its value and managing investors’ money. In simpler terms, it measures the profitability of a company in relation to shareholder's equity.

See our latest analysis for Essentra

How Is ROE Calculated?

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 Essentra is:

2.6% = UK£12m ÷ UK£469m (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2022).

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 £0.03 in profit.

Why Is ROE Important For Earnings Growth?

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

A Side By Side comparison of Essentra's Earnings Growth And 2.6% ROE

It is hard to argue that Essentra's ROE is much good in and of itself. Even when compared to the industry average of 12%, the ROE figure is pretty disappointing. Despite this, surprisingly, Essentra saw an exceptional 22% net income growth over the past five years. We reckon that there could be other factors at play here. Such as - high earnings retention or an efficient management in place.

As a next step, we compared Essentra's net income growth with the industry, and pleasingly, we found that the growth seen by the company is higher than the average industry growth of 6.0%.

past-earnings-growth
LSE:ESNT Past Earnings Growth November 29th 2022

Earnings growth is a huge factor in stock valuation. It’s important for an investor to know whether the market has priced in the company's expected earnings growth (or decline). Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. 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 Essentra is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.

Is Essentra Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

Essentra has a significant three-year median payout ratio of 67%, meaning the company only retains 33% of its income. This implies that the company has been able to achieve high earnings growth despite returning most of its profits to shareholders.

Moreover, Essentra is determined to keep sharing its profits with shareholders which we infer from its long history of paying a dividend for at least ten years. Existing analyst estimates suggest that the company's future payout ratio is expected to drop to 36% over the next three years.

Summary

On the whole, we do feel that Essentra has some positive attributes. While no doubt its earnings growth is pretty substantial, we do feel that the reinvestment rate is pretty low, meaning, the earnings growth number could have been significantly higher had the company been retaining more of its profits. That being so, the latest analyst forecasts show that the company will continue to see an expansion in its earnings. 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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