Leifheit's (ETR:LEI) stock is up by a considerable 9.2% over the past month. However, we decided to pay close attention to its weak financials as we are doubtful that the current momentum will keep up, given the scenario. Specifically, we decided to study Leifheit's ROE in this article.
Return on equity or ROE is a key measure used to assess how efficiently a company's management is utilizing the company's capital. In simpler terms, it measures the profitability of a company in relation to shareholder's equity.
How Is ROE Calculated?
ROE 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 Leifheit is:
4.0% = €4.8m ÷ €121m (Based on the trailing twelve months to September 2022).
The 'return' is the yearly profit. That means that for every €1 worth of shareholders' equity, the company generated €0.04 in profit.
Why Is ROE Important For Earnings Growth?
So far, we've learned that ROE is a measure of a company's profitability. Depending on how much of these profits the company reinvests or "retains", and how effectively it does so, we are then able to assess a company’s earnings growth potential. 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 Leifheit's Earnings Growth And 4.0% ROE
At first glance, Leifheit's ROE doesn't look very promising. A quick further study shows that the company's ROE doesn't compare favorably to the industry average of 16% either. Hence, the flat earnings seen by Leifheit over the past five years could probably be the result of it having a lower ROE.
As a next step, we compared Leifheit's net income growth with the industry and discovered that the industry saw an average growth of 17% in the same period.
Earnings growth is a huge factor in stock valuation. 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. 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 Leifheit is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.
Is Leifheit Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?
With a high three-year median payout ratio of 80% (implying that the company keeps only 20% of its income) of its business to reinvest into its business), most of Leifheit's profits are being paid to shareholders, which explains the absence of growth in earnings.
In addition, Leifheit 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. Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company is expected to drop to 30% over the next three years. As a result, the expected drop in Leifheit's payout ratio explains the anticipated rise in the company's future ROE to 15%, over the same period.
In total, we would have a hard think before deciding on any investment action concerning Leifheit. As a result of its low ROE and lack of much reinvestment into the business, the company has seen a disappointing earnings growth rate. 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. 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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