Aqua Spólka Akcyjna's (WSE:AQU) Stock Going Strong But Fundamentals Look Weak: What Implications Could This Have On The Stock?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
May 19, 2021
WSE:AQU
Source: Shutterstock

Aqua Spólka Akcyjna's (WSE:AQU) stock is up by a considerable 88% 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 Aqua Spólka Akcyjna's ROE.

Return on equity or ROE is a key measure used to assess how efficiently a company's management is utilizing the company's capital. Put another way, it reveals the company's success at turning shareholder investments into profits.

View our latest analysis for Aqua Spólka Akcyjna

How To 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 Aqua Spólka Akcyjna is:

3.0% = zł11m ÷ zł357m (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2021).

The 'return' is the income the business earned over the last year. Another way to think of that is that for every PLN1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn PLN0.03 in profit.

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. 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 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 Aqua Spólka Akcyjna's Earnings Growth And 3.0% ROE

It is hard to argue that Aqua Spólka Akcyjna's ROE is much good in and of itself. Even when compared to the industry average of 6.4%, the ROE figure is pretty disappointing. Given the circumstances, the significant decline in net income by 5.3% seen by Aqua Spólka Akcyjna over the last five years is not surprising. We believe that there also might be other aspects that are negatively influencing the company's earnings prospects. For example, the business has allocated capital poorly, or that the company has a very high payout ratio.

However, when we compared Aqua Spólka Akcyjna's growth with the industry we found that while the company's earnings have been shrinking, the industry has seen an earnings growth of 8.8% in the same period. This is quite worrisome.

past-earnings-growth
WSE:AQU Past Earnings Growth May 20th 2021

The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. What investors need to determine next is if the expected earnings growth, or the lack of it, is already built into the share price. This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. 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 Aqua Spólka Akcyjna is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.

Is Aqua Spólka Akcyjna Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

Aqua Spólka Akcyjna'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 91% (or a retention ratio of 8.7%). With only a little being reinvested into the business, earnings growth would obviously be low or non-existent. You can see the 3 risks we have identified for Aqua Spólka Akcyjna by visiting our risks dashboard for free on our platform here.

In addition, Aqua Spólka Akcyjna has been paying dividends over a period of at least ten years suggesting that keeping up dividend payments is way more important to the management even if it comes at the cost of business growth.

Summary

In total, we would have a hard think before deciding on any investment action concerning Aqua Spólka Akcyjna. Particularly, its ROE is a huge disappointment, not to mention its lack of proper reinvestment into the business. As a result its earnings growth has also been quite disappointing. Until now, we have only just grazed the surface of the company's past performance by looking at the company's fundamentals. So it may be worth checking this free detailed graph of Aqua Spólka Akcyjna's past earnings, as well as revenue and cash flows to get a deeper insight into the company's performance.

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