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The Sage Group plc's (LON:SGE) Stock Has Shown A Decent Performance: Have Financials A Role To Play?

Sage Group's (LON:SGE) stock up by 2.8% over the past month. As most would know, long-term fundamentals have a strong correlation with market price movements, so we decided to look at the company's key financial indicators today to determine if they have any role to play in the recent price movement. Specifically, we decided to study Sage Group'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. Simply put, it is used to assess the profitability of a company in relation to its equity capital.

View our latest analysis for Sage Group

How Do You Calculate Return On Equity?

ROE can be calculated by using the formula:

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

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So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Sage Group is:

19% = UK£260m ÷ UK£1.4b (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2022).

The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. That means that for every £1 worth of shareholders' equity, the company generated £0.19 in profit.

Why Is ROE Important For Earnings Growth?

So far, we've learned that ROE is a measure of a company's profitability. We now need to evaluate how much profit the company reinvests or "retains" for future growth which then gives us an idea about the growth potential of the company. 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.

Sage Group's Earnings Growth And 19% ROE

To begin with, Sage Group seems to have a respectable ROE. Especially when compared to the industry average of 8.8% the company's ROE looks pretty impressive. Given the circumstances, we can't help but wonder why Sage Group saw little to no growth in the past five years. Therefore, there could be some other aspects that could potentially be preventing the company from growing. For example, it could be that the company has a high payout ratio or the business has allocated capital poorly, for instance.

We then compared Sage Group's net income growth with the industry and found that the company's growth figure is lower than the average industry growth rate of 13% in the same period, which is a bit concerning.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

Earnings growth is an important metric to consider when valuing a stock. 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 Sage Group's's valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.

Is Sage Group Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

The high three-year median payout ratio of 67% (meaning, the company retains only 33% of profits) for Sage Group suggests that the company's earnings growth was miniscule as a result of paying out a majority of its earnings.

Moreover, Sage Group 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. Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company over the next three years is expected to be approximately 56%. As a result, Sage Group's ROE is not expected to change by much either, which we inferred from the analyst estimate of 22% for future ROE.

Summary

Overall, we feel that Sage Group 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. Bear in mind, the company reinvests a small portion of its profits, which means that investors aren't reaping the benefits of the high rate of return. That being so, the latest analyst forecasts show that the company will continue to see an expansion in its earnings. To know more about the latest analysts predictions for the company, check out this visualization of analyst forecasts for the company.

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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