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LyondellBasell Industries N.V.'s (NYSE:LYB) Fundamentals Look Pretty Strong: Could The Market Be Wrong About The Stock?

·4 min read

It is hard to get excited after looking at LyondellBasell Industries' (NYSE:LYB) recent performance, when its stock has declined 26% over the past three months. But if you pay close attention, you might find that its key financial indicators look quite decent, which could mean that the stock could potentially rise in the long-term given how markets usually reward more resilient long-term fundamentals. Specifically, we decided to study LyondellBasell Industries' 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 simpler terms, it measures the profitability of a company in relation to shareholder's equity.

See our latest analysis for LyondellBasell Industries

How Is ROE Calculated?

The formula for ROE is:

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

So, based on the above formula, the ROE for LyondellBasell Industries is:

44% = US$5.5b ÷ US$12b (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2022).

The 'return' is the amount earned after tax over the last twelve months. So, this means that for every $1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of $0.44.

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. 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 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.

LyondellBasell Industries' Earnings Growth And 44% ROE

Firstly, we acknowledge that LyondellBasell Industries has a significantly high ROE. Additionally, the company's ROE is higher compared to the industry average of 16% which is quite remarkable. Despite this, LyondellBasell Industries' five year net income growth was quite flat over the past five years. 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. These include low earnings retention or poor allocation of capital

We then compared LyondellBasell Industries' net income growth with the industry and found that the average industry growth rate was 7.8% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. What investors need to determine next is if the expected earnings growth, or the lack of it, is already built into the share price. This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. If you're wondering about LyondellBasell Industries''s valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.

Is LyondellBasell Industries Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

Despite having a normal three-year median payout ratio of 43% (implying that the company keeps 57% of its income) over the last three years, LyondellBasell Industries 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.

Moreover, LyondellBasell Industries has been paying dividends for at least ten years or more suggesting that management must have perceived that the shareholders prefer dividends over earnings growth. Upon studying the latest analysts' consensus data, we found that the company's future payout ratio is expected to drop to 31% over the next three years. However, the company's ROE is not expected to change by much despite the lower expected payout ratio.

Summary

Overall, we feel that LyondellBasell Industries certainly does have some positive factors to consider. Although, we are disappointed to see a lack of growth in earnings even in spite of a high ROE and and a high reinvestment rate. We believe that there might be some outside factors that could be having a negative impact on the business. Moreover, after studying current analyst estimates, we discovered that the company's earnings are expected to continue to shrink in the future. 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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