With its stock down 5.6% over the past month, it is easy to disregard Hamburger Hafen und Logistik (ETR:HHFA). However, the company's fundamentals look pretty decent, and long-term financials are usually aligned with future market price movements. Specifically, we decided to study Hamburger Hafen und Logistik's ROE in this article.
ROE or return on equity is a useful tool to assess how effectively a company can generate returns on the investment it received from its shareholders. In simpler terms, it measures the profitability of a company in relation to shareholder's equity.
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 Hamburger Hafen und Logistik is:
18% = €139m ÷ €786m (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 €0.18.
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. 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. 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.
Hamburger Hafen und Logistik's Earnings Growth And 18% ROE
To start with, Hamburger Hafen und Logistik's ROE looks acceptable. On comparing with the average industry ROE of 13% the company's ROE looks pretty remarkable. Given the circumstances, we can't help but wonder why Hamburger Hafen und Logistik 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. These include low earnings retention or poor allocation of capital.
Next, on comparing with the industry net income growth, we found that the industry grew its earnings by 2.1% in the same period.
Earnings growth is a huge factor in stock valuation. 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. 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 Hamburger Hafen und Logistik is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.
Is Hamburger Hafen und Logistik Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?
With a high three-year median payout ratio of 51% (implying that the company keeps only 49% of its income) of its business to reinvest into its business), most of Hamburger Hafen und Logistik's profits are being paid to shareholders, which explains the absence of growth in earnings.
Moreover, Hamburger Hafen und Logistik 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 55%. Still, forecasts suggest that Hamburger Hafen und Logistik's future ROE will drop to 8.2% even though the the company's payout ratio is not expected to change by much.
Overall, we feel that Hamburger Hafen und Logistik certainly does have some positive factors to consider. Yet, the low earnings growth is a bit concerning, especially given that the company has a high rate of return. Investors could have benefitted from the high ROE, had the company been reinvesting more of its earnings. As discussed earlier, the company is retaining a small portion of its profits. In addition, on studying the latest analyst forecasts, we found that the company's earnings are expected to continue to shrink. 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.
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