Tenaris (BIT:TEN) has had a rough three months with its share price down 9.0%. Given that stock prices are usually driven by a company’s fundamentals over the long term, which in this case look pretty weak, we decided to study the company's key financial indicators. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Tenaris' 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. Put another way, it reveals the company's success at turning shareholder investments into profits.
How Is ROE Calculated?
The formula for return on equity is:
Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders' Equity
So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Tenaris is:
4.0% = US$465m ÷ US$12b (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2021).
The 'return' is the yearly profit. So, this means that for every €1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of €0.04.
Why Is ROE Important For Earnings Growth?
So far, we've learned that ROE is a measure of a company's profitability. 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 Tenaris' Earnings Growth And 4.0% ROE
When you first look at it, Tenaris' ROE doesn't look that attractive. Next, when compared to the average industry ROE of 13%, the company's ROE leaves us feeling even less enthusiastic. Given the circumstances, the significant decline in net income by 3.2% seen by Tenaris over the last five years is not surprising. However, there could also be other factors causing the earnings to decline. For instance, the company has a very high payout ratio, or is faced with competitive pressures.
However, when we compared Tenaris' growth with the industry we found that while the company's earnings have been shrinking, the industry has seen an earnings growth of 20% in the same period. This is quite worrisome.
The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. 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. Is TEN fairly valued? This infographic on the company's intrinsic value has everything you need to know.
Is Tenaris Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?
Tenaris' declining earnings is not surprising given how the company is spending most of its profits in paying dividends, judging by its three-year median payout ratio of 51% (or a retention ratio of 49%). The business is only left with a small pool of capital to reinvest - A vicious cycle that doesn't benefit the company in the long-run.
In addition, Tenaris 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. Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company over the next three years is expected to be approximately 59%. However, Tenaris' ROE is predicted to rise to 5.9% despite there being no anticipated change in its payout ratio.
In total, we would have a hard think before deciding on any investment action concerning Tenaris. As a result of its low ROE and lack of much reinvestment into the business, the company has seen a disappointing earnings growth rate. Having said that, looking at current analyst estimates, we found that the company's earnings growth rate is expected to see a huge improvement. 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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