With its stock down 13% over the past month, it is easy to disregard Renishaw (LON:RSW). It seems that the market might have completely ignored the positive aspects of the company's fundamentals and decided to weigh-in more on the negative aspects. Fundamentals usually dictate market outcomes so it makes sense to study the company's financials. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Renishaw's ROE today.
Return on Equity or ROE is a test of how effectively a company is growing its value and managing investors’ money. Simply put, it is used to assess the profitability of a company in relation to its equity capital.
How To Calculate Return On Equity?
The formula for ROE is:
Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders' Equity
So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Renishaw is:
7.3% = UK£45m ÷ UK£625m (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2020).
The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. That means that for every £1 worth of shareholders' equity, the company generated £0.07 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.
Renishaw's Earnings Growth And 7.3% ROE
At first glance, Renishaw's ROE doesn't look very promising. We then compared the company's ROE to the broader industry and were disappointed to see that the ROE is lower than the industry average of 11%. Therefore, it might not be wrong to say that the five year net income decline of 12% seen by Renishaw was probably the result of it having a lower ROE. However, there could also be other factors causing the earnings to decline. For example, it is possible that the business has allocated capital poorly or that the company has a very high payout ratio.
That being said, we compared Renishaw's performance with the industry and were concerned when we found that while the company has shrunk its earnings, the industry has grown its earnings at a rate of 20% 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. If you're wondering about Renishaw's's valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.
Is Renishaw Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?
Looking at its three-year median payout ratio of 34% (or a retention ratio of 66%) which is pretty normal, Renishaw's declining earnings is rather baffling as one would expect to see a fair bit of growth when a company is retaining a good portion of its profits. So there could be some other explanations in that regard. For instance, the company's business may be deteriorating.
In addition, Renishaw has been paying dividends over a period of at least ten years suggesting that keeping up dividend payments is way more important to the management even if it comes at the cost of business growth. Upon studying the latest analysts' consensus data, we found that the company is expected to keep paying out approximately 38% of its profits over the next three years. Regardless, the future ROE for Renishaw is predicted to rise to 17% despite there being not much change expected in its payout ratio.
In total, we're a bit ambivalent about Renishaw's performance. While the company does have a high rate of reinvestment, the low ROE means that all that reinvestment is not reaping any benefit to its investors, and moreover, its having a negative impact on the earnings growth. Having said that, looking at current analyst estimates, we found that the company's earnings growth rate is expected to see a huge improvement. 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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