With its stock down 12% over the past month, it is easy to disregard Heineken (AMS:HEIA). But if you pay close attention, you might find that its key financial indicators look quite decent, which could mean that the stock could potentially rise in the long-term given how markets usually reward more resilient long-term fundamentals. Specifically, we decided to study Heineken's ROE in this article.
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 simpler terms, it measures the profitability of a company in relation to shareholder's equity.
How Do You 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 Heineken is:
18% = €3.5b ÷ €20b (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2021).
The 'return' is the yearly profit. Another way to think of that is that for every €1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn €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. 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. Generally speaking, other things being equal, firms with a high return on equity and profit retention, have a higher growth rate than firms that don’t share these attributes.
Heineken's Earnings Growth And 18% ROE
To start with, Heineken's ROE looks acceptable. Further, the company's ROE compares quite favorably to the industry average of 11%. Needless to say, we are quite surprised to see that Heineken's net income shrunk at a rate of 5.8% over the past five years. Therefore, there might be some other aspects that could explain this. Such as, the company pays out a huge portion of its earnings as dividends, or is faced with competitive pressures.
However, when we compared Heineken's growth with the industry we found that while the company's earnings have been shrinking, the industry has seen an earnings growth of 5.6% in the same period. This is quite worrisome.
Earnings growth is a huge factor in stock valuation. 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. If you're wondering about Heineken's's valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.
Is Heineken Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?
Despite having a normal three-year median payout ratio of 49% (where it is retaining 51% of its profits), Heineken has seen a decline in earnings as we saw above. It looks like there might be some other reasons to explain the lack in that respect. For example, the business could be in decline.
Additionally, Heineken has paid dividends over a period of at least ten years, which means that the company's management is determined to pay dividends even if it means little to no earnings growth. Upon studying the latest analysts' consensus data, we found that the company's future payout ratio is expected to drop to 36% over the next three years. Despite the lower expected payout ratio, the company's ROE is not expected to change by much.
In total, it does look like Heineken has some positive aspects to its business. Although, we are disappointed to see a lack of growth in earnings even in spite of a high ROE and and a high reinvestment rate. We believe that there might be some outside factors that could be having a negative impact on the business. Having said that, looking at current analyst estimates, we found that the company's earnings growth rate is expected to see a huge improvement. To know more about the latest analysts predictions for the company, check out this visualization of analyst forecasts for the company.
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.