Is A2A S.p.A.'s (BIT:A2A) Latest Stock Performance Being Led By Its Strong Fundamentals?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
December 15, 2020

A2A's (BIT:A2A) stock is up by 4.7% over the past month. Given that the market rewards strong financials in the long-term, we wonder if that is the case in this instance. In this article, we decided to focus on A2A's ROE.

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.

Check out our latest analysis for A2A

How Do You 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 A2A is:

10% = €379m ÷ €3.6b (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2020).

The 'return' is the yearly profit. So, this means that for every €1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of €0.10.

What Has ROE Got To Do With 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 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.

A2A's Earnings Growth And 10% ROE

To begin with, A2A seems to have a respectable ROE. Further, the company's ROE is similar to the industry average of 9.0%. Consequently, this likely laid the ground for the impressive net income growth of 23% seen over the past five years by A2A. However, there could also be other drivers behind this growth. For instance, the company has a low payout ratio or is being managed efficiently.

We then compared A2A'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 7.9% in the same period.

BIT:A2A Past Earnings Growth December 15th 2020

Earnings growth is an important metric to consider when valuing a stock. It’s important for an investor to know whether the market has priced in the company's expected earnings growth (or decline). By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. What is A2A worth today? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether A2A is currently mispriced by the market.

Is A2A Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

A2A's significant three-year median payout ratio of 64% (where it is retaining only 36% of its income) suggests that the company has been able to achieve a high growth in earnings despite returning most of its income to shareholders.

Besides, A2A 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 84% over the next three years. Despite the higher expected payout ratio, the company's ROE is not expected to change by much.

Summary

On the whole, we feel that A2A's performance has been quite good. In particular, its high ROE is quite noteworthy and also the probable explanation behind its considerable earnings growth. Yet, the company is retaining a small portion of its profits. Which means that the company has been able to grow its earnings in spite of it, so that's not too bad. With that said, the latest industry analyst forecasts reveal that the company's earnings growth is expected to slow down. 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. 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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