Yum China Holdings, Inc.'s (NYSE:YUMC) Stock Has Been Sliding But Fundamentals Look Strong: Is The Market Wrong?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
January 11, 2022
NYSE:YUMC
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With its stock down 17% over the past three months, it is easy to disregard Yum China Holdings (NYSE:YUMC). But if you pay close attention, you might gather that its strong financials could mean that the stock could potentially see an increase in value in the long-term, given how markets usually reward companies with good financial health. In this article, we decided to focus on Yum China Holdings' 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.

See our latest analysis for Yum China Holdings

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 Yum China Holdings is:

10% = US$708m ÷ US$6.9b (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2021).

The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. So, this means that for every $1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of $0.10.

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. 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.

Yum China Holdings' Earnings Growth And 10% ROE

At first glance, Yum China Holdings seems to have a decent ROE. Yet, the fact that the company's ROE is lower than the industry average of 16% does temper our expectations. However, the moderate 14% net income growth seen by Yum China Holdings over the past five years is definitely a positive. We reckon that there could be other factors at play here. For example, it is possible that the company's management has made some good strategic decisions, or that the company has a low payout ratio. Bear in mind, the company does have a respectable level of ROE. It is just that the industry ROE is higher. So this also provides some context to the earnings growth seen by the company.

Next, on comparing with the industry net income growth, we found that the growth figure reported by Yum China Holdings compares quite favourably to the industry average, which shows a decline of 2.2% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth
NYSE:YUMC Past Earnings Growth January 11th 2022

The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. It’s important for an investor to know whether the market has priced in the company's expected earnings growth (or decline). Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. What is YUMC worth today? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether YUMC is currently mispriced by the market.

Is Yum China Holdings Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

With a three-year median payout ratio of 26% (implying that the company retains 74% of its profits), it seems that Yum China Holdings is reinvesting efficiently in a way that it sees respectable amount growth in its earnings and pays a dividend that's well covered.

Additionally, Yum China Holdings has paid dividends over a period of four years which means that the company is pretty serious about sharing its profits with shareholders. Based on the latest analysts' estimates, we found that the company's future payout ratio over the next three years is expected to hold steady at 24%. Regardless, the future ROE for Yum China Holdings is predicted to rise to 18% despite there being not much change expected in its payout ratio.

Summary

On the whole, we feel that Yum China Holdings' performance has been quite good. In particular, it's great to see that the company has seen significant growth in its earnings backed by a respectable ROE and a high reinvestment rate. With that said, the latest industry analyst forecasts reveal that the company's earnings are expected to accelerate. 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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