Stock Analysis

# Kerry Group plc's (ISE:KRZ) Stock Has Shown A Decent Performance: Have Financials A Role To Play?

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Kerry Group's (ISE:KRZ) stock up by 4.8% over the past three months. Given that stock prices are usually aligned with a company's financial performance in the long-term, we decided to investigate if the company's decent financials had a hand to play in the recent price move. In this article, we decided to focus on Kerry Group'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. In other words, it is a profitability ratio which measures the rate of return on the capital provided by the company's shareholders.

View our latest analysis for Kerry Group

## 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 Kerry Group is:

9.7% = €607m ÷ €6.2b (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2022).

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 €0.10.

## 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. 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.

## A Side By Side comparison of Kerry Group's Earnings Growth And 9.7% ROE

To begin with, Kerry Group seems to have a respectable ROE. Even when compared to the industry average of 8.5% the company's ROE looks quite decent. Despite the modest returns, Kerry Group's five year net income growth was quite low, averaging at only 5.0%. A few likely reasons that could be keeping earnings growth low are - the company has a high payout ratio or the business has allocated capital poorly, for instance.

We then compared Kerry Group's net income growth with the industry and found that the company's growth figure is lower than the average industry growth rate of 12% in the same period, which is a bit concerning.

The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. 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. Has the market priced in the future outlook for KRZ? You can find out in our latest intrinsic value infographic research report.

## Is Kerry Group Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

While Kerry Group has a decent three-year median payout ratio of 26% (or a retention ratio of 74%), it has seen very little growth in earnings. So there could be some other explanation in that regard. For instance, the company's business may be deteriorating.

In addition, Kerry Group 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 24% of its profits over the next three years. Regardless, the future ROE for Kerry Group is predicted to rise to 13% despite there being not much change expected in its payout ratio.

## Conclusion

Overall, we feel that Kerry Group certainly does have some positive factors to consider. However, given the high ROE and high profit retention, we would expect the company to be delivering strong earnings growth, but that isn't the case here. This suggests that there might be some external threat to the business, that's hampering its growth. Having said that, looking at the current analyst estimates, we found that the company's earnings are expected to gain momentum. 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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