Has Alumetal S.A.'s (WSE:AML) Impressive Stock Performance Got Anything to Do With Its Fundamentals?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
September 10, 2021
WSE:AML
Source: Shutterstock

Most readers would already be aware that Alumetal's (WSE:AML) stock increased significantly by 14% over the past week. We wonder if and what role the company's financials play in that price change as a company's long-term fundamentals usually dictate market outcomes. Specifically, we decided to study Alumetal's 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.

Check out our latest analysis for Alumetal

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 Alumetal is:

21% = zł128m ÷ zł624m (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2021).

The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. So, this means that for every PLN1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of PLN0.21.

What Has ROE Got To Do With Earnings Growth?

Thus far, we have learned that ROE measures how efficiently a company is generating its profits. 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.

Alumetal's Earnings Growth And 21% ROE

To start with, Alumetal's ROE looks acceptable. Further, the company's ROE is similar to the industry average of 21%. However, while Alumetal has a pretty respectable ROE, its five year net income decline rate was 5.4% . Based on this, we feel that there might be other reasons which haven't been discussed so far in this article that could be hampering the company's growth. 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 Alumetal's 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 11% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth
WSE:AML Past Earnings Growth September 11th 2021

Earnings growth is a huge factor in stock valuation. 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 AML fairly valued? This infographic on the company's intrinsic value has everything you need to know.

Is Alumetal Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

Alumetal's 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 82% (or a retention ratio of 18%). With only a little being reinvested into the business, earnings growth would obviously be low or non-existent. Our risks dashboard should have the 2 risks we have identified for Alumetal.

Moreover, Alumetal has been paying dividends for six years, which is a considerable amount of time, suggesting that management must have perceived that the shareholders prefer consistent dividends even though earnings have been shrinking. Upon studying the latest analysts' consensus data, we found that the company's future payout ratio is expected to drop to 60% over the next three years. Still forecasts suggest that Alumetal's future ROE will drop to 13% even though the the company's payout ratio is expected to decrease. This suggests that there could be other factors could driving the anticipated decline in the company's ROE.

Conclusion

On the whole, we do feel that Alumetal has some positive attributes. Yet, the low earnings growth is a bit concerning, especially given that the company has a high rate of return. Investors could have benefitted from the high ROE, had the company been reinvesting more of its earnings. As discussed earlier, the company is retaining a small portion of its profits. 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 latest analysts predictions for the company, check out this visualization of analyst forecasts for the company.

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