Grupa LOTOS S.A.'s (WSE:LTS) Stock Is Going Strong: Have Financials A Role To Play?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
January 07, 2022
WSE:LTS
Source: Shutterstock

Grupa LOTOS' (WSE:LTS) stock is up by a considerable 5.4% over the past week. Given that stock prices are usually aligned with a company's financial performance in the long-term, we decided to study its financial indicators more closely to see if they had a hand to play in the recent price move. Specifically, we decided to study Grupa LOTOS' ROE in this article.

Return on equity or ROE is a key measure used to assess how efficiently a company's management is utilizing the company's capital. In short, ROE shows the profit each dollar generates with respect to its shareholder investments.

See our latest analysis for Grupa LOTOS

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 Grupa LOTOS is:

16% = zł2.2b ÷ zł14b (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2021).

The 'return' is the yearly profit. So, this means that for every PLN1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of PLN0.16.

What Has ROE Got To Do With Earnings Growth?

So far, we've learned that ROE is a measure of a company's profitability. Depending on how much of these profits the company reinvests or "retains", and how effectively it does so, we are then able to assess a company’s earnings growth potential. 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.

A Side By Side comparison of Grupa LOTOS' Earnings Growth And 16% ROE

At first glance, Grupa LOTOS seems to have a decent ROE. And on comparing with the industry, we found that the the average industry ROE is similar at 15%. As you might expect, the 15% net income decline reported by Grupa LOTOS is a bit of a surprise. So, there might be some other aspects that could explain this. For example, it could be that the company has a high payout ratio or the business has allocated capital poorly, for instance.

So, as a next step, we compared Grupa LOTOS' performance against the industry and were disappointed to discover that while the company has been shrinking its earnings, the industry has been growing its earnings at a rate of 6.9% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth
WSE:LTS Past Earnings Growth January 7th 2022

Earnings growth is an important metric to consider when valuing a stock. 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. Is LTS fairly valued? This infographic on the company's intrinsic value has everything you need to know.

Is Grupa LOTOS Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

When we piece together Grupa LOTOS' low three-year median payout ratio of 16% (where it is retaining 84% of its profits), calculated for the last three-year period, we are puzzled by the lack of growth. The low payout should mean that the company is retaining most of its earnings and consequently, should see some growth. It looks like there might be some other reasons to explain the lack in that respect. For example, the business could be in decline.

In addition, Grupa LOTOS has been paying dividends over a period of five years suggesting that keeping up dividend payments is preferred by the management even though earnings have been in decline. Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company is expected to rise to 28% over the next three years. Accordingly, the expected increase in the payout ratio explains the expected decline in the company's ROE to 11%, over the same period.

Summary

Overall, we feel that Grupa LOTOS certainly does have some positive factors to consider. Yet, the low earnings growth is a bit concerning, especially given that the company has a high rate of return and is reinvesting ma huge portion of its profits. By the looks of it, there could be some other factors, not necessarily in control of the business, that's preventing growth. With that said, we studied current analyst estimates and discovered that analysts expect the company's earnings growth to improve slightly. The company's existing shareholders might have some respite after all. 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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