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It is hard to get excited after looking at Genus' (LON:GNS) recent performance, when its stock has declined 35% over the past three months. We, however decided to study the company's financials to determine if they have got anything to do with the price decline. Stock prices are usually driven by a company’s financial performance over the long term, and therefore we decided to pay more attention to the company's financial performance. Specifically, we decided to study Genus' 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. In short, ROE shows the profit each dollar generates with respect to its shareholder investments.
How Do You Calculate Return On Equity?
Return on equity 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 Genus is:
7.2% = UK£37m ÷ UK£506m (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2021).
The 'return' is the amount earned after tax over the last twelve months. That means that for every £1 worth of shareholders' equity, the company generated £0.07 in profit.
What Is The Relationship Between ROE And 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. Generally speaking, other things being equal, firms with a high return on equity and profit retention, have a higher growth rate than firms that don’t share these attributes.
A Side By Side comparison of Genus' Earnings Growth And 7.2% ROE
When you first look at it, Genus' ROE doesn't look that attractive. However, its ROE is similar to the industry average of 8.7%, so we won't completely dismiss the company. Having said that, Genus' net income growth over the past five years is more or less flat. Remember, the company's ROE is not particularly great to begin with. So that could also be one of the reasons behind the company's flat growth in earnings.
As a next step, we compared Genus' net income growth with the industry and discovered that the industry saw an average growth of 19% in the same period.
The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. The investor should try to establish if the expected growth or decline in earnings, whichever the case may be, is priced in. Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. Is GNS fairly valued? This infographic on the company's intrinsic value has everything you need to know.
Is Genus Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?
Despite having a normal three-year median payout ratio of 49% (implying that the company keeps 51% of its income) over the last three years, Genus has seen a negligible amount of growth in earnings as we saw above. Therefore, there might be some other reasons to explain the lack in that respect. For example, the business could be in decline.
In addition, Genus has been paying dividends over a period of at least ten years suggesting that keeping up dividend payments is way more important to the management even if it comes at the cost of business growth. Upon studying the latest analysts' consensus data, we found that the company's future payout ratio is expected to drop to 32% over the next three years. The fact that the company's ROE is expected to rise to 11% over the same period is explained by the drop in the payout ratio.
On the whole, we feel that the performance shown by Genus can be open to many interpretations. Even though it appears to be retaining most of its profits, given the low ROE, investors may not be benefitting from all that reinvestment after all. The low earnings growth suggests our theory correct. That being so, the latest industry analyst forecasts show that the analysts are expecting to see a huge improvement in the company's earnings growth rate. 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.
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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.