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A.G. BARR p.l.c.'s (LON:BAG) Stock Is Going Strong: Have Financials A Role To Play?

A.G. BARR (LON:BAG) has had a great run on the share market with its stock up by a significant 20% over the last 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 A.G. BARR's ROE in this article.

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 A.G. BARR

How To Calculate Return On Equity?

The formula for return on equity is:

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

So, based on the above formula, the ROE for A.G. BARR is:

13% = UK£35m ÷ UK£258m (Based on the trailing twelve months to July 2022).

The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. One way to conceptualize this is that for each £1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made £0.13 in profit.

What Has ROE Got To Do With 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.G. BARR's Earnings Growth And 13% ROE

At first glance, A.G. BARR seems to have a decent ROE. And on comparing with the industry, we found that the the average industry ROE is similar at 13%. For this reason, A.G. BARR's five year net income decline of 6.4% raises the question as to why the decent ROE didn't translate into growth. Based on this, we feel that there might be other reasons which haven't been discussed so far in this article that could be hampering the company's growth. Such as, the company pays out a huge portion of its earnings as dividends, or is faced with competitive pressures.

Furthermore, even when compared to the industry, which has been shrinking its earnings at a rate 4.0% in the same period, we found that A.G. BARR's performance is pretty disappointing, as it suggests that the company has been shrunk its earnings at a rate faster than the industry.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

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. Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. Is BAG fairly valued? This infographic on the company's intrinsic value has everything you need to know.

Is A.G. BARR Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

A.G. BARR's low three-year median payout ratio of 15% (implying that it retains the remaining 85% of its profits) comes as a surprise when you pair it with the shrinking earnings. This typically shouldn't be the case when a company is retaining most of its earnings. So there might be other factors at play here which could potentially be hampering growth. For instance, the business has faced some headwinds.

Additionally, A.G. BARR 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. Looking at the current analyst consensus data, we can see that the company's future payout ratio is expected to rise to 49% over the next three years. However, the company's ROE is not expected to change by much despite the higher expected payout ratio.

Conclusion

In total, it does look like A.G. BARR has some positive aspects to its business. Yet, the low earnings growth is a bit concerning, especially given that the company has a high rate of return and is reinvesting ma 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. Having said that, looking at current analyst estimates, we found that the company's earnings growth rate is expected to see a huge improvement. To know more about the company's future earnings growth forecasts take a look at this free report on analyst forecasts for the company to find out more.

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

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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