Safestyle UK plc's (LON:SFE) Stock Has Shown Weakness Lately But Financial Prospects Look Decent: Is The Market Wrong?

·4 min read

With its stock down 8.0% over the past month, it is easy to disregard Safestyle UK (LON:SFE). 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 Safestyle UK's ROE today.

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

Check out our latest analysis for Safestyle UK

How To Calculate Return On Equity?

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 Safestyle UK is:

14% = UK£4.8m ÷ UK£35m (Based on the trailing twelve months to January 2022).

The 'return' refers to a company's earnings over the last year. That means that for every £1 worth of shareholders' equity, the company generated £0.14 in profit.

Why Is ROE Important For 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 Safestyle UK's Earnings Growth And 14% ROE

To begin with, Safestyle UK seems to have a respectable ROE. Even when compared to the industry average of 14% the company's ROE looks quite decent. As you might expect, the 35% net income decline reported by Safestyle UK is a bit of a surprise. We reckon that there could be some other factors at play here that are preventing the company's growth. For example, it could be that the company has a high payout ratio or the business has allocated capital poorly, for instance.

That being said, we compared Safestyle UK'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 1.0% in the same period.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

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. 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 Safestyle UK's's valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.

Is Safestyle UK Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?

Because Safestyle UK doesn't pay any dividends, we infer that it is retaining all of its profits, which is rather perplexing when you consider the fact that there is no earnings growth to show for it. It looks like there might be some other reasons to explain the lack in that respect. For example, the business could be in decline.

Conclusion

On the whole, we do feel that Safestyle UK 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. With that said, we studied the latest analyst forecasts and found that while the company has shrunk its earnings in the past, analysts expect its earnings to grow in the future. To know more about the company's future earnings growth forecasts take a look at this free report on analyst forecasts for the company to find out more.

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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