Most readers would already be aware that Aperam's (AMS:APAM) stock increased significantly by 43% over the past three months. However, we decided to pay close attention to its weak financials as we are doubtful that the current momentum will keep up, given the scenario. In this article, we decided to focus on Aperam'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. Put another way, it reveals the company's success at turning shareholder investments into profits.
How Do You Calculate Return On Equity?
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 Aperam is:
4.9% = €103m ÷ €2.1b (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2020).
The 'return' is the amount earned after tax over the last twelve months. One way to conceptualize this is that for each €1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made €0.05 in profit.
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 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.
A Side By Side comparison of Aperam's Earnings Growth And 4.9% ROE
At first glance, Aperam's ROE doesn't look very promising. A quick further study shows that the company's ROE doesn't compare favorably to the industry average of 9.6% either. Therefore, Aperam's flat earnings over the past five years can possibly be explained by the low ROE amongst other factors.
We then compared Aperam's net income growth with the industry and found that the average industry growth rate was 16% in the same period.
Earnings growth is an important metric to consider when valuing a stock. The investor should try to establish if the expected growth or decline in earnings, whichever the case may be, is priced in. 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 APAM? You can find out in our latest intrinsic value infographic research report.
Is Aperam Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?
The high three-year median payout ratio of 79% (meaning, the company retains only 21% of profits) for Aperam suggests that the company's earnings growth was miniscule as a result of paying out a majority of its earnings.
Additionally, Aperam has paid dividends over a period of nine years, which means that the company's management is determined to pay dividends even if it means little to no earnings growth. Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company is expected to drop to 62% over the next three years. As a result, the expected drop in Aperam's payout ratio explains the anticipated rise in the company's future ROE to 9.9%, over the same period.
In total, we would have a hard think before deciding on any investment action concerning Aperam. Because the company is not reinvesting much into the business, and given the low ROE, it's not surprising to see the lack or absence of growth in its earnings. That being so, the latest industry analyst forecasts show that the analysts are expecting to see a huge improvement in the company's earnings growth rate. 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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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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