Will Weakness in Spectris plc's (LON:SXS) Stock Prove Temporary Given Strong Fundamentals?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
April 12, 2022
LSE:SXS
Source: Shutterstock

It is hard to get excited after looking at Spectris' (LON:SXS) recent performance, when its stock has declined 31% over the past three months. However, stock prices are usually driven by a company’s financial performance over the long term, which in this case looks quite promising. Specifically, we decided to study Spectris' ROE in this article.

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 simpler terms, it measures the profitability of a company in relation to shareholder's equity.

See our latest analysis for Spectris

How To Calculate Return On Equity?

ROE 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 Spectris is:

28% = UK£347m ÷ UK£1.3b (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2021).

The 'return' is the profit over the last twelve months. So, this means that for every £1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of £0.28.

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 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.

Spectris' Earnings Growth And 28% ROE

To begin with, Spectris has a pretty high ROE which is interesting. Secondly, even when compared to the industry average of 15% the company's ROE is quite impressive. This likely paved the way for the modest 16% net income growth seen by Spectris over the past five years. growth

As a next step, we compared Spectris' 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 0.1%.

past-earnings-growth
LSE:SXS Past Earnings Growth April 12th 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). This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. What is SXS worth today? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether SXS is currently mispriced by the market.

Is Spectris Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

Spectris has a healthy combination of a moderate three-year median payout ratio of 35% (or a retention ratio of 65%) and a respectable amount of growth in earnings as we saw above, meaning that the company has been making efficient use of its profits.

Moreover, Spectris 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. Upon studying the latest analysts' consensus data, we found that the company's future payout ratio is expected to rise to 48% over the next three years. Therefore, the expected rise in the payout ratio explains why the company's ROE is expected to decline to 14% over the same period.

Summary

In total, we are pretty happy with Spectris' 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. With that said, on studying the latest analyst forecasts, we found that while the company has seen growth in its past earnings, analysts expect its future earnings to shrink. 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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