Declining Stock and Solid Fundamentals: Is The Market Wrong About Celanese Corporation (NYSE:CE)?

By
Simply Wall St
Published
February 11, 2021
NYSE:CE

With its stock down 5.7% over the past month, it is easy to disregard Celanese (NYSE:CE). However, stock prices are usually driven by a company’s financial performance over the long term, which in this case looks quite promising. In this article, we decided to focus on Celanese's ROE.

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 simpler terms, it measures the profitability of a company in relation to shareholder's equity.

View our latest analysis for Celanese

How Is ROE Calculated?

Return on equity 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 Celanese is:

51% = US$2.0b ÷ US$3.9b (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2020).

The 'return' is the income the business earned over the last year. So, this means that for every $1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of $0.51.

What Has ROE Got To Do With Earnings Growth?

So far, we've learned that ROE is a measure of a company's profitability. 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 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.

Celanese's Earnings Growth And 51% ROE

Firstly, we acknowledge that Celanese has a significantly high ROE. Additionally, the company's ROE is higher compared to the industry average of 10% which is quite remarkable. This probably laid the groundwork for Celanese's moderate 16% net income growth seen over the past five years.

We then compared Celanese's net income growth with the industry and we're pleased to see that the company's growth figure is higher when compared with the industry which has a growth rate of 7.2% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth
NYSE:CE Past Earnings Growth February 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. By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. What is CE worth today? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether CE is currently mispriced by the market.

Is Celanese Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

Celanese has a three-year median payout ratio of 28%, which implies that it retains the remaining 72% of its profits. This suggests that its dividend is well covered, and given the decent growth seen by the company, it looks like management is reinvesting its earnings efficiently.

Besides, Celanese has been paying dividends for at least ten years or more. This shows that the company is committed to sharing profits with its shareholders. Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company over the next three years is expected to be approximately 26%. Regardless, Celanese's ROE is speculated to decline to 30% despite there being no anticipated change in its payout ratio.

Summary

On the whole, we feel that Celanese's performance has been quite good. Specifically, we like that the company is reinvesting a huge chunk of its profits at a high rate of return. This of course has caused the company to see substantial growth in its earnings. Having said that, on studying current analyst estimates, we were concerned to see that while the company has grown its earnings in the past, analysts expect its earnings to shrink in the future. To know more about the company's future earnings growth forecasts take a look at this free report on analyst forecasts for the company to find out more.

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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.
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