Kupiec (WSE:KPC) has had a great run on the share market with its stock up by a significant 145% over the last three months. However, we wonder if the company's inconsistent financials would have any adverse impact on the current share price momentum. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Kupiec's ROE today.
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 other words, it is a profitability ratio which measures the rate of return on the capital provided by the company's shareholders.
How Is ROE Calculated?
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 Kupiec is:
7.3% = zł851k ÷ zł12m (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2020).
The 'return' is the income the business earned over the last year. So, this means that for every PLN1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of PLN0.07.
Why Is ROE Important For Earnings Growth?
We have already established that ROE serves as an efficient profit-generating gauge for a company's future earnings. Based on how much of its profits the company chooses to reinvest or "retain", we are then able to evaluate a company's future ability to generate profits. Assuming everything else remains unchanged, the higher the ROE and profit retention, the higher the growth rate of a company compared to companies that don't necessarily bear these characteristics.
Kupiec's Earnings Growth And 7.3% ROE
When you first look at it, Kupiec's ROE doesn't look that attractive. Yet, a closer study shows that the company's ROE is similar to the industry average of 8.5%. But Kupiec saw a five year net income decline of 58% over the past five years. Bear in mind, the company does have a slightly low ROE. Therefore, the decline in earnings could also be the result of this.
So, as a next step, we compared Kupiec'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 5.8% in the same period.
The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. 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. One good indicator of expected earnings growth is the P/E ratio which determines the price the market is willing to pay for a stock based on its earnings prospects. So, you may want to check if Kupiec is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.
Is Kupiec Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?
Because Kupiec doesn't pay any dividends, we infer that it is retaining all of its profits, which is rather perplexing when you consider the fact that there is no earnings growth to show for it. So there could be some other explanations in that regard. For instance, the company's business may be deteriorating.
In total, we're a bit ambivalent about Kupiec's performance. Even though it appears to be retaining most of its profits, given the low ROE, investors may not be benefitting from all that reinvestment after all. The low earnings growth suggests our theory correct. Wrapping up, we would proceed with caution with this company and one way of doing that would be to look at the risk profile of the business. Our risks dashboard would have the 4 risks we have identified for Kupiec.
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