Declining Stock and Decent Financials: Is The Market Wrong About Johnson Electric Holdings Limited (HKG:179)?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
August 29, 2021
SEHK:179
Source: Shutterstock

Johnson Electric Holdings (HKG:179) has had a rough three months with its share price down 11%. 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 Johnson Electric Holdings' ROE in this article.

ROE or return on equity is a useful tool to assess how effectively a company can generate returns on the investment it received from its shareholders. Put another way, it reveals the company's success at turning shareholder investments into profits.

View our latest analysis for Johnson Electric Holdings

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 Johnson Electric Holdings is:

9.5% = US$219m ÷ US$2.3b (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2021).

The 'return' is the amount earned after tax over the last twelve months. Another way to think of that is that for every HK$1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn HK$0.09 in profit.

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 all else is equal, companies that have both a higher return on equity and higher profit retention are usually the ones that have a higher growth rate when compared to companies that don't have the same features.

Johnson Electric Holdings' Earnings Growth And 9.5% ROE

To start with, Johnson Electric Holdings' ROE looks acceptable. Even when compared to the industry average of 9.6% the company's ROE looks quite decent. For this reason, Johnson Electric Holdings' five year net income decline of 37% raises the question as to why the decent ROE didn't translate into growth. Based on this, we feel that there might be other reasons which haven't been discussed so far in this article that could be hampering the company's growth. For example, it could be that the company has a high payout ratio or the business has allocated capital poorly, for instance.

Next, when we compared with the industry, which has shrunk its earnings at a rate of 3.1% in the same period, we still found Johnson Electric Holdings' performance to be quite bleak, because the company has been shrinking its earnings faster than the industry.

past-earnings-growth
SEHK:179 Past Earnings Growth August 30th 2021

The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. What investors need to determine next is if the expected earnings growth, or the lack of it, is already built into the share price. 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 Johnson Electric Holdings is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.

Is Johnson Electric Holdings Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

When we piece together Johnson Electric Holdings' low three-year median payout ratio of 19% (where it is retaining 81% of its profits), calculated for the last three-year period, we are puzzled by the lack of growth. This typically shouldn't be the case when a company is retaining most of its earnings. So there might be other factors at play here which could potentially be hampering growth. For instance, the business has faced some headwinds.

Additionally, Johnson Electric Holdings 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. Upon studying the latest analysts' consensus data, we found that the company's future payout ratio is expected to rise to 26% over the next three years. However, Johnson Electric Holdings' future ROE is expected to rise to 12% despite the expected increase in the company's payout ratio. We infer that there could be other factors that could be driving the anticipated growth in the company's ROE.

Summary

In total, it does look like Johnson Electric Holdings has some positive aspects to its business. Although, we are disappointed to see a lack of growth in earnings even in spite of a high ROE and and a high reinvestment rate. We believe that there might be some outside factors that could be having a negative impact on the business. With that said, we studied the latest analyst forecasts and found that while the company has shrunk its earnings in the past, analysts expect its earnings to grow in the future. 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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