Are Robust Financials Driving The Recent Rally In Li Ning Company Limited's (HKG:2331) Stock?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
November 14, 2020

Most readers would already be aware that Li Ning's (HKG:2331) stock increased significantly by 34% over the past three months. Given the company's impressive performance, we decided to study its financial indicators more closely as a company's financial health over the long-term usually dictates market outcomes. In this article, we decided to focus on Li Ning's ROE.

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. Simply put, it is used to assess the profitability of a company in relation to its equity capital.

Check out our latest analysis for Li Ning

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 Li Ning is:

18% = CN¥1.4b ÷ CN¥7.6b (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2020).

The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. Another way to think of that is that for every HK\$1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn HK\$0.18 in profit.

What Has ROE Got To Do With Earnings Growth?

So far, we've learned that ROE is a measure of a company's profitability. 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.

Li Ning's Earnings Growth And 18% ROE

To start with, Li Ning's ROE looks acceptable. On comparing with the average industry ROE of 7.0% the company's ROE looks pretty remarkable. This probably laid the ground for Li Ning's significant 54% net income growth seen over the past five years. We believe that there might also be other aspects that are positively influencing the company's earnings growth. For instance, the company has a low payout ratio or is being managed efficiently.

We then compared Li Ning's 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 1.5% in the same period.

Earnings growth is a huge factor in stock valuation. The investor should try to establish if the expected growth or decline in earnings, whichever the case may be, is priced in. Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. If you're wondering about Li Ning's's valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.

Is Li Ning Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

Li Ning has a really low three-year median payout ratio of 25%, meaning that it has the remaining 75% left over to reinvest into its business. So it seems like the management is reinvesting profits heavily to grow its business and this reflects in its earnings growth number.

Besides, Li Ning has been paying dividends for at least ten years or more. This shows that the company is committed to sharing profits with its shareholders. Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company is expected to rise to 33% over the next three years. Regardless, the future ROE for Li Ning is speculated to rise to 24% despite the anticipated increase in the payout ratio. There could probably be other factors that could be driving the future growth in the ROE.

Conclusion

On the whole, we feel that Li Ning's performance has been quite good. 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, the latest industry analyst forecasts reveal that the company's earnings growth is expected to slow down. To know more about the latest analysts predictions for the company, check out this visualization of analyst forecasts for the company.

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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.
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