Stock Analysis

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

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LSE:MNDI
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It is hard to get excited after looking at Mondi's (LON:MNDI) recent performance, when its stock has declined 5.0% over the past week. However, the company's fundamentals look pretty decent, and long-term financials are usually aligned with future market price movements. Specifically, we decided to study Mondi'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 simpler terms, it measures the profitability of a company in relation to shareholder's equity.

See our latest analysis for Mondi

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 Mondi is:

14% = €602m ÷ €4.4b (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2020).

The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. So, this means that for every £1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of £0.14.

What Is The Relationship Between ROE And Earnings Growth?

So far, we've learned that ROE is a measure of a company's profitability. 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. Generally speaking, other things being equal, firms with a high return on equity and profit retention, have a higher growth rate than firms that don’t share these attributes.

Mondi's Earnings Growth And 14% ROE

To begin with, Mondi seems to have a respectable ROE. Further, the company's ROE compares quite favorably to the industry average of 7.9%. Despite this, Mondi's five year net income growth was quite low averaging at only 3.9%. This is interesting as the high returns should mean that the company has the ability to generate high growth but for some reason, it hasn't been able to do so. Such a scenario is likely to take place when a company pays out a huge portion of its earnings as dividends, or is faced with competitive pressures.

Next, on comparing with the industry net income growth, we found that Mondi's reported growth was lower than the industry growth of 7.2% in the same period, which is not something we like to see.

past-earnings-growth
LSE:MNDI Past Earnings Growth March 1st 2021

The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. 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. 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 Mondi is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.

Is Mondi Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

Despite having a moderate three-year median payout ratio of 46% (implying that the company retains the remaining 54% of its income), Mondi's earnings growth was quite low. So there could be some other explanation in that regard. For instance, the company's business may be deteriorating.

Additionally, Mondi has paid dividends over a period of at least ten years, which means that the company's management is determined to pay dividends even if it means little to no earnings growth. 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 45%. As a result, Mondi's ROE is not expected to change by much either, which we inferred from the analyst estimate of 16% for future ROE.

Conclusion

In total, it does look like Mondi has some positive aspects to its business. However, given the high ROE and high profit retention, we would expect the company to be delivering strong earnings growth, but that isn't the case here. This suggests that there might be some external threat to the business, that's hampering its growth. 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 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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