Stock Analysis

# Bowler Metcalf Limited's (JSE:BCF) Stock On An Uptrend: Could Fundamentals Be Driving The Momentum?

Bowler Metcalf's (JSE:BCF) stock is up by a considerable 18% over the past three months. Given that stock prices are usually aligned with a company's financial performance in the long-term, we decided to study its financial indicators more closely to see if they had a hand to play in the recent price move. Specifically, we decided to study Bowler Metcalf's ROE in this article.

Return on equity or ROE is a key measure used to assess how efficiently a company's management is utilizing the company's capital. In short, ROE shows the profit each dollar generates with respect to its shareholder investments.

See our latest analysis for Bowler Metcalf

### How To Calculate Return On Equity?

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 Bowler Metcalf is:

12% = R82m ÷ R681m (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2020).

The 'return' is the amount earned after tax over the last twelve months. One way to conceptualize this is that for each ZAR1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made ZAR0.12 in profit.

### What Is The Relationship Between ROE And 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.

### Bowler Metcalf's Earnings Growth And 12% ROE

At first glance, Bowler Metcalf's ROE doesn't look very promising. Although a closer study shows that the company's ROE is higher than the industry average of 10% which we definitely can't overlook. However, Bowler Metcalf has seen a flattish net income growth over the past five years, which is not saying much. Remember, the company's ROE is a bit low to begin with, just that it is higher than the industry average. Hence, this goes some way in explaining the flat earnings growth.

As a next step, we compared Bowler Metcalf's net income growth with the industry and were disappointed to see that the company's growth is lower than the industry average growth of 1.1% in the same period.

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. By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. Is BCF fairly valued? This infographic on the company's intrinsic value has everything you need to know.

### Is Bowler Metcalf Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

Despite having a normal three-year median payout ratio of 42% (implying that the company keeps 58% of its income) over the last three years, Bowler Metcalf has seen a negligible amount of growth in earnings as we saw above. So there could be some other explanation in that regard. For instance, the company's business may be deteriorating.

Additionally, Bowler Metcalf 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.

### Summary

In total, it does look like Bowler Metcalf has some positive aspects to its business. Yet, the low earnings growth is a bit concerning, especially given that the company has a respectable rate of return and is reinvesting a huge portion of its profits. By the looks of it, there could be some other factors, not necessarily in control of the business, that's preventing growth. Until now, we have only just grazed the surface of the company's past performance by looking at the company's fundamentals. To gain further insights into Bowler Metcalf's past profit growth, check out this visualization of past earnings, revenue and cash flows.

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### Valuation is complex, but we're here to simplify it.

Discover if Bowler Metcalf might be undervalued or overvalued with our detailed analysis, featuring fair value estimates, potential risks, dividends, insider trades, and its financial condition.

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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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