Most readers would already know that ICL Group's (TLV:ICL) stock increased by 3.6% over the past three months. However, the company's financials look a bit inconsistent and market outcomes are ultimately driven by long-term fundamentals, meaning that the stock could head in either direction. Particularly, we will be paying attention to ICL Group's ROE today.
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. In other words, it is a profitability ratio which measures the rate of return on the capital provided by the company's shareholders.
How To Calculate Return On Equity?
Return on equity 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 ICL Group is:
9.6% = US$421m ÷ US$4.4b (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2021).
The 'return' is the yearly profit. One way to conceptualize this is that for each ₪1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made ₪0.10 in profit.
What Is The Relationship Between ROE And Earnings Growth?
Thus far, we have learned that ROE measures how efficiently a company is generating its profits. 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.
ICL Group's Earnings Growth And 9.6% ROE
To start with, ICL Group's ROE looks acceptable. Be that as it may, the company's ROE is still quite lower than the industry average of 18%. On further research, we found that ICL Group's earnings over the past five years have been pretty flat. Bear in mind, the company does have a respectable level of ROE. It is just that the industry ROE is higher. So there might be other reasons for the flat earnings growth. For example, it could be that the company has a high payout ratio or the business has alloacted capital, for instance.
Next, on comparing with the industry net income growth, we found that ICL Group's reported growth was lower than the industry growth of 3.3% in the same period, which is not something we like to see.
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. Has the market priced in the future outlook for ICL? You can find out in our latest intrinsic value infographic research report.
Is ICL Group Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?
ICL Group has a high three-year median payout ratio of 51% (or a retention ratio of 49%), meaning that the company is paying most of its profits as dividends to its shareholders. This does go some way in explaining why there's been no growth in its earnings.
In addition, ICL Group has been paying dividends over a period of nine years suggesting that keeping up dividend payments is way more important to the management even if it comes at the cost of business growth. Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company over the next three years is expected to be approximately 56%. However, ICL Group's ROE is predicted to rise to 12% despite there being no anticipated change in its payout ratio.
Overall, we have mixed feelings about ICL Group. On the one hand, the company does have a decent rate of return, however, its earnings growth number is quite disappointing and as discussed earlier, the low retained earnings is hampering the growth. That being so, the latest analyst forecasts show that the company will continue to see an expansion in its earnings. 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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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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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