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With its stock down 7.1% over the past week, it is easy to disregard First Majestic Silver (TSE:FR). However, stock prices are usually driven by a company’s financials over the long term, which in this case look pretty respectable. Particularly, we will be paying attention to First Majestic Silver's ROE today.
Return on Equity or ROE is a test of how effectively a company is growing its value and managing investors’ money. In simpler terms, it measures the profitability of a company in relation to shareholder's equity.
How To Calculate Return On Equity?
The formula for return on equity is:
Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders' Equity
So, based on the above formula, the ROE for First Majestic Silver is:
2.4% = US$34m ÷ US$1.4b (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2021).
The 'return' is the profit over the last twelve months. Another way to think of that is that for every CA$1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn CA$0.02 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 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.
A Side By Side comparison of First Majestic Silver's Earnings Growth And 2.4% ROE
It is quite clear that First Majestic Silver's ROE is rather low. Not just that, even compared to the industry average of 15%, the company's ROE is entirely unremarkable. First Majestic Silver was still able to see a decent net income growth of 13% over the past five years. We believe that there might be other aspects that are positively influencing the company's earnings growth. For example, it is possible that the company's management has made some good strategic decisions, or that the company has a low payout ratio.
As a next step, we compared First Majestic Silver'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 31% in the same period.
The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. It’s important for an investor to know whether the market has priced in the company's expected earnings growth (or decline). Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. If you're wondering about First Majestic Silver's's valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.
Is First Majestic Silver Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?
First Majestic Silver has a low three-year median payout ratio of 2.9%, meaning that the company retains the remaining 97% of its profits. This suggests that the management is reinvesting most of the profits to grow the business.
While First Majestic Silver has seen growth in its earnings, it only recently started to pay a dividend. It is most likely that the company decided to impress new and existing shareholders with a dividend. Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company is expected to rise to 4.2% over the next three years.
In total, it does look like First Majestic Silver has some positive aspects to its business. Namely, its respectable earnings growth, which it achieved due to it retaining most of its profits. However, given the low ROE, investors may not be benefitting from all that reinvestment after all. While we won't completely dismiss the company, what we would do, is try to ascertain how risky the business is to make a more informed decision around the company. Our risks dashboard would have the 3 risks we have identified for First Majestic Silver.
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.
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