Stock Analysis

Are Robust Financials Driving The Recent Rally In Savills plc's (LON:SVS) Stock?

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LSE:SVS
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Most readers would already be aware that Savills' (LON:SVS) stock increased significantly by 20% over the past three months. Since the market usually pay for a company’s long-term fundamentals, we decided to study the company’s key performance indicators to see if they could be influencing the market. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Savills' ROE today.

Return on equity or ROE is an important factor to be considered by a shareholder because it tells them how effectively their capital is being reinvested. In short, ROE shows the profit each dollar generates with respect to its shareholder investments.

See our latest analysis for Savills

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 Savills is:

13% = UK£72m ÷ UK£537m (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2020).

The 'return' is the income the business earned over the last year. So, this means that for every £1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of £0.13.

What Is The Relationship Between ROE And Earnings Growth?

We have already established that ROE serves as an efficient profit-generating gauge for a company's future earnings. Based on how much of its profits the company chooses to reinvest or "retain", we are then able to evaluate a company's future ability to generate profits. 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.

Savills' Earnings Growth And 13% ROE

To start with, Savills' ROE looks acceptable. On comparing with the average industry ROE of 8.5% the company's ROE looks pretty remarkable. Despite this, Savills' five year net income growth was quite low averaging at only 4.9%. 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.

We then compared Savills' 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 2.5% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth
LSE:SVS Past Earnings Growth January 15th 2021

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. By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. 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 Savills is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.

Is Savills Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

While the company did pay out a portion of its dividend in the past, it currently doesn't pay a dividend. We infer that the company has been reinvesting all of its profits to grow its business.

Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company is expected to rise to 42% over the next three years. Despite the higher expected payout ratio, the company's ROE is not expected to change by much.

Conclusion

In total, we are pretty happy with Savills' performance. In particular, it's great to see that the company is investing heavily into its business and along with a high rate of return, that has resulted in a sizeable growth in its earnings. That being so, the latest analyst forecasts show that the company will continue to see an expansion in its earnings. Are these analysts expectations based on the broad expectations for the industry, or on the company's fundamentals? Click here to be taken to our analyst's forecasts page for the company.

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