With its stock down 23% over the past three months, it is easy to disregard Savaria (TSE:SIS). Given that stock prices are usually driven by a company’s fundamentals over the long term, which in this case look pretty weak, we decided to study the company's key financial indicators. Specifically, we decided to study Savaria'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. In other words, it is a profitability ratio which measures the rate of return on the capital provided by the company's shareholders.
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 Savaria is:
3.1% = CA$13m ÷ CA$422m (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2022).
The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. That means that for every CA$1 worth of shareholders' equity, the company generated CA$0.03 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 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.
A Side By Side comparison of Savaria's Earnings Growth And 3.1% ROE
As you can see, Savaria's ROE looks pretty weak. Even compared to the average industry ROE of 6.2%, the company's ROE is quite dismal. Although, we can see that Savaria saw a modest net income growth of 6.2% over the past five years. Therefore, the growth in earnings could probably have been caused by other variables. 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 Savaria'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 13% in the same period.
Earnings growth is an important metric to consider when valuing a stock. 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. One good indicator of expected earnings growth is the P/E ratio which determines the price the market is willing to pay for a stock based on its earnings prospects. So, you may want to check if Savaria is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.
Is Savaria Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?
The high three-year median payout ratio of 97% (or a retention ratio of 3.0%) for Savaria suggests that the company's growth wasn't really hampered despite it returning most of its income to its shareholders.
Additionally, Savaria has paid dividends over a period of at least ten years which means that the company is pretty serious about sharing its profits with shareholders.
Overall, we would be extremely cautious before making any decision on Savaria. While no doubt its earnings growth is pretty respectable, its ROE and earnings retention is quite poor. So while the company has managed to grow its earnings in spite of this, we are unconvinced if this growth could extend, specially during troubled times. Having said that, looking at the current analyst estimates, we found that the company's earnings are expected to gain momentum. 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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