ITV plc (LON:ITV) Stock's Been Sliding But Fundamentals Look Decent: Will The Market Correct The Share Price In The Future?

·4 min read

ITV (LON:ITV) has had a rough three months with its share price down 40%. However, stock prices are usually driven by a company’s financials over the long term, which in this case look pretty respectable. Particularly, we will be paying attention to ITV's ROE today.

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 other words, it is a profitability ratio which measures the rate of return on the capital provided by the company's shareholders.

See our latest analysis for ITV

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 ITV is:

26% = UK£388m ÷ UK£1.5b (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 £0.26 in profit.

What Is The Relationship Between ROE And 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 everything else remains unchanged, the higher the ROE and profit retention, the higher the growth rate of a company compared to companies that don't necessarily bear these characteristics.

A Side By Side comparison of ITV's Earnings Growth And 26% ROE

To begin with, ITV has a pretty high ROE which is interesting. Second, a comparison with the average ROE reported by the industry of 9.9% also doesn't go unnoticed by us. Needless to say, we are quite surprised to see that ITV's net income shrunk at a rate of 5.3% over the past five years. Based on this, we feel that there might be other reasons which haven't been discussed so far in this article that could be hampering the company's growth. These include low earnings retention or poor allocation of capital.

We then compared ITV's performance with the industry and found that the company has shrunk its earnings at a slower rate than the industry earnings which has seen its earnings shrink by 14% in the same period. While this is not particularly good, its not particularly bad either.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. It’s important for an investor to know whether the market has priced in the company's expected earnings growth (or decline). By doing so, they will have an idea if the stock is headed into clear blue waters or if swampy waters await. If you're wondering about ITV's's valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.

Is ITV Making Efficient Use Of Its Profits?

Despite having a normal three-year median payout ratio of 35% (where it is retaining 65% of its profits), ITV has seen a decline in earnings as we saw above. So there could be some other explanations in that regard. For instance, the company's business may be deteriorating.

Moreover, ITV 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. Upon studying the latest analysts' consensus data, we found that the company's future payout ratio is expected to rise to 44% over the next three years. Despite the higher expected payout ratio, the company's ROE is not expected to change by much.

Conclusion

On the whole, we do feel that ITV has some positive attributes. Although, we are disappointed to see a lack of growth in earnings even in spite of a high ROE and and a high reinvestment rate. We believe that there might be some outside factors that could be having a negative impact on the business. 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.

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