Is Hargreaves Services Plc's (LON:HSP) Stock's Recent Performance Being Led By Its Attractive Financial Prospects?

Hargreaves Services' (LON:HSP) stock is up by a considerable 47% over the past three months. Given the company's impressive performance, we decided to study its financial indicators more closely as a company's financial health over the long-term usually dictates market outcomes. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Hargreaves Services' ROE today.

Return on Equity or ROE is a test of how effectively a company is growing its value and managing investors’ money. In other words, it is a profitability ratio which measures the rate of return on the capital provided by the company's shareholders.

View our latest analysis for Hargreaves Services

How Do You Calculate Return On Equity?

The formula for ROE is:

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

So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Hargreaves Services is:

11% = UK£16m ÷ UK£144m (Based on the trailing twelve months to May 2021).

The 'return' is the yearly profit. One way to conceptualize this is that for each £1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made £0.11 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. 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. 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.

Hargreaves Services' Earnings Growth And 11% ROE

To begin with, Hargreaves Services seems to have a respectable ROE. Further, the company's ROE compares quite favorably to the industry average of 8.7%. This probably laid the ground for Hargreaves Services' significant 48% net income growth seen over the past five years. We reckon that there could also be other factors at play here. For instance, the company has a low payout ratio or is being managed efficiently.

We then compared Hargreaves Services' 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 12% in the same period.

past-earnings-growthpast-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

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

Is Hargreaves Services Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

Hargreaves Services' three-year median payout ratio is a pretty moderate 28%, meaning the company retains 72% of its income. So it seems that Hargreaves Services is reinvesting efficiently in a way that it sees impressive growth in its earnings (discussed above) and pays a dividend that's well covered.

Moreover, Hargreaves Services 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 58% over the next three years. Consequently, the higher expected payout ratio explains the decline in the company's expected ROE (to 6.5%) over the same period.

Summary

On the whole, we feel that Hargreaves Services' performance has been quite good. Particularly, we like that the company is reinvesting heavily into its business, and at a high rate of return. Unsurprisingly, this has led to an impressive earnings growth. That being so, according to the latest industry analyst forecasts, the company's earnings are expected to shrink in the future. Are these analysts expectations based on the broad expectations for the industry, or on the company's fundamentals? Click here to be taken to our analyst's forecasts page for the company.

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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

Matt Earle

Matthew Earle is the Founder of MiningFeeds. In 2005, Matt founded MiningNerds.com to provide data and information to the mining investment community. This site was merged with Highgrade Review to form MiningFeeds. Matt has a B.Sc. degree with a minor in geology from the University of Toronto.

By Matt Earle

Matthew Earle is the Founder of MiningFeeds. In 2005, Matt founded MiningNerds.com to provide data and information to the mining investment community. This site was merged with Highgrade Review to form MiningFeeds. Matt has a B.Sc. degree with a minor in geology from the University of Toronto.

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