It is hard to get excited after looking at Restore’s (LON:RST) recent performance, when its stock has declined 8.5% 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 Restore’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 simpler terms, it measures the profitability of a company in relation to shareholder’s equity.
How To Calculate Return On Equity?
The formula for ROE is:
Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders’ Equity
So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Restore is:
4.3% = UK£12m ÷ UK£265m (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2021).
The ‘return’ is the income the business earned over the last year. Another way to think of that is that for every £1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn £0.04 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 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.
Restore’s Earnings Growth And 4.3% ROE
At first glance, Restore’s ROE doesn’t look very promising. We then compared the company’s ROE to the broader industry and were disappointed to see that the ROE is lower than the industry average of 12%. For this reason, Restore’s five year net income decline of 10% is not surprising given its lower ROE. However, there could also be other factors causing the earnings to decline. For instance, the company has a very high payout ratio, or is faced with competitive pressures.
That being said, we compared Restore’s performance with the industry and were concerned when we found that while the company has shrunk its earnings, the industry has grown its earnings at a rate of 4.5% in the same period.
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). This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. Has the market priced in the future outlook for RST? You can find out in our latest intrinsic value infographic research report.
Is Restore Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?
Looking at its three-year median payout ratio of 33% (or a retention ratio of 67%) which is pretty normal, Restore’s declining earnings is rather baffling as one would expect to see a fair bit of growth when a company is retaining a good portion of its profits. So there could be some other explanations in that regard. For instance, the company’s business may be deteriorating.
In addition, Restore 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 is expected to keep paying out approximately 30% of its profits over the next three years. However, Restore’s ROE is predicted to rise to 13% despite there being no anticipated change in its payout ratio.
On the whole, we feel that the performance shown by Restore 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. To know more about the latest analysts predictions for the company, check out this visualization of analyst forecasts 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.