With its stock down 2.0% over the past three months, it is easy to disregard Saudi Arabian Oil (TADAWUL:2222). But if you pay close attention, you might find that its key financial indicators look quite decent, which could mean that the stock could potentially rise in the long-term given how markets usually reward more resilient long-term fundamentals. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Saudi Arabian Oil'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 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 Saudi Arabian Oil is:
18% = ر.س203b ÷ ر.س1.1t (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2021).
The 'return' is the amount earned after tax over the last twelve months. So, this means that for every SAR1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of SAR0.18.
What Is The Relationship Between ROE And Earnings Growth?
We have already established that ROE serves as an efficient profit-generating gauge for a company's future earnings. 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 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.
Saudi Arabian Oil's Earnings Growth And 18% ROE
To begin with, Saudi Arabian Oil seems to have a respectable ROE. On comparing with the average industry ROE of 8.9% the company's ROE looks pretty remarkable. Yet, Saudi Arabian Oil has posted measly growth of 2.7% over the past five years. This is generally not the case as when a company has a high rate of return it should usually also have a high earnings growth rate. A few likely reasons why this could happen is that the company could have a high payout ratio or the business has allocated capital poorly, for instance.
Next, on comparing with the industry net income growth, we found that Saudi Arabian Oil's reported growth was lower than the industry growth of 7.3% in the same period, which is not something we like to see.
Earnings growth is a huge factor in stock valuation. 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. Is Saudi Arabian Oil fairly valued compared to other companies? These 3 valuation measures might help you decide.
Is Saudi Arabian Oil Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?
With a high three-year median payout ratio of 85% (or a retention ratio of 15%), most of Saudi Arabian Oil's profits are being paid to shareholders. This definitely contributes to the low earnings growth seen by the company.
Only recently, Saudi Arabian Oil started paying a dividend. This means that the management might have concluded that its shareholders prefer dividends over earnings growth. Upon studying the latest analysts' consensus data, we found that the company is expected to keep paying out approximately 77% of its profits over the next three years. However, Saudi Arabian Oil's ROE is predicted to rise to 31% despite there being no anticipated change in its payout ratio.
Overall, we feel that Saudi Arabian Oil 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. 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 analyst forecasts show that the company will continue to see an expansion in its earnings. To know more about the latest analysts predictions for the company, check out this visualization of analyst forecasts for the company.
When trading stocks or any other investment, use the platform considered by many to be the Professional's Gateway to the Worlds Market, Interactive Brokers. You get the lowest-cost* trading on stocks, options, futures, forex, bonds and funds worldwide from a single integrated account. Promoted
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.
*Interactive Brokers Rated Lowest Cost Broker by StockBrokers.com Annual Online Review 2020
Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.