Ferrexpo's (LON:FXPO) stock is up by a considerable 20% over the past three months. Given that the market rewards strong financials in the long-term, we wonder if that is the case in this instance. In this article, we decided to focus on Ferrexpo'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.
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 Ferrexpo is:
43% = US$635m ÷ US$1.5b (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2020).
The 'return' is the yearly profit. That means that for every £1 worth of shareholders' equity, the company generated £0.43 in profit.
Why Is ROE Important For Earnings Growth?
We have already established that ROE serves as an efficient profit-generating gauge for a company's future earnings. 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 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.
Ferrexpo's Earnings Growth And 43% ROE
To begin with, Ferrexpo has a pretty high ROE which is interesting. Additionally, the company's ROE is higher compared to the industry average of 16% which is quite remarkable. So, the substantial 30% net income growth seen by Ferrexpo over the past five years isn't overly surprising.
Next, on comparing Ferrexpo's net income growth with the industry, we found that the company's reported growth is similar to the industry average growth rate of 27% in the same period.
Earnings growth is an important metric to consider when valuing a stock. It’s important for an investor to know whether the market has priced in the company's expected earnings growth (or decline). By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. 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 Ferrexpo is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.
Is Ferrexpo Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?
Ferrexpo's three-year median payout ratio to shareholders is 15%, which is quite low. This implies that the company is retaining 85% of its profits. This suggests that the management is reinvesting most of the profits to grow the business as evidenced by the growth seen by the company.
Moreover, Ferrexpo is determined to keep sharing its profits with shareholders which we infer from its long history of paying a dividend for at least ten years. Upon studying the latest analysts' consensus data, we found that the company's future payout ratio is expected to rise to 51% over the next three years. Therefore, the expected rise in the payout ratio explains why the company's ROE is expected to decline to 15% over the same period.
Overall, we are quite pleased with Ferrexpo's performance. 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 latest analysts predictions for the company, check out this visualization of analyst forecasts for the company.
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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