Stock Analysis

Has OUTsurance Group Limited (JSE:OUT) Stock's Recent Performance Got Anything to Do With Its Financial Health?

JSE:OUT
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Most readers would already know that OUTsurance Group's (JSE:OUT) stock increased by 3.4% over the past week. As most would know, long-term fundamentals have a strong correlation with market price movements, so we decided to look at the company's key financial indicators today to determine if they have any role to play in the recent price movement. In this article, we decided to focus on OUTsurance Group'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. Put another way, it reveals the company's success at turning shareholder investments into profits.

View our latest analysis for OUTsurance Group

How Is ROE Calculated?

The formula for ROE is:

Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders' Equity

So, based on the above formula, the ROE for OUTsurance Group is:

26% = R3.7b ÷ R15b (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2023).

The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. Another way to think of that is that for every ZAR1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn ZAR0.26 in profit.

Why Is ROE Important For Earnings Growth?

Thus far, we have learned that ROE measures how efficiently a company is generating its profits. 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. 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.

OUTsurance Group's Earnings Growth And 26% ROE

At first glance, OUTsurance Group seems to have a decent ROE. Further, the company's ROE compares quite favorably to the industry average of 14%. Needless to say, we are quite surprised to see that OUTsurance Group's net income shrunk at a rate of 9.1% over the past five years. Therefore, there might be some other aspects that could explain this. These include low earnings retention or poor allocation of capital.

However, when we compared OUTsurance Group's growth with the industry we found that while the company's earnings have been shrinking, the industry has seen an earnings growth of 5.4% in the same period. This is quite worrisome.

past-earnings-growth
JSE:OUT Past Earnings Growth June 8th 2024

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. 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 OUTsurance Group is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.

Is OUTsurance Group Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

OUTsurance Group'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 66% (or a retention ratio of 34%). With only a little being reinvested into the business, earnings growth would obviously be low or non-existent.

Additionally, OUTsurance Group has paid dividends over a period of at least ten years, which means that the company's management is determined to pay dividends even if it means little to no earnings growth. Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company over the next three years is expected to be approximately 65%. Accordingly, forecasts suggest that OUTsurance Group's future ROE will be 27% which is again, similar to the current ROE.

Summary

Overall, we feel that OUTsurance Group certainly does have some positive factors to consider. Although, we are disappointed to see a lack of growth in earnings even in spite of a high ROE. Bear in mind, the company reinvests a small portion of its profits, which means that investors aren't reaping the benefits of the high rate of return. That being so, the latest industry analyst forecasts show that the analysts are expecting to see a huge improvement in the company's earnings growth rate. 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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This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. 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.