# Should Weakness in The Character Group plc's (LON:CCT) Stock Be Seen As A Sign That Market Will Correct The Share Price Given Decent Financials?

With its stock down 14% over the past month, it is easy to disregard Character Group (LON:CCT). However, stock prices are usually driven by a company’s financials over the long term, which in this case look pretty respectable. In this article, we decided to focus on Character Group's ROE.

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 short, ROE shows the profit each dollar generates with respect to its shareholder investments.

See our latest analysis for Character Group

## How Do You Calculate Return On Equity?

The formula for return on equity is:

Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders' Equity

So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Character Group is:

24% = UK£9.4m ÷ UK£39m (Based on the trailing twelve months to August 2022).

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 £0.24 in profit.

## What Is The Relationship Between ROE And 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 Character Group's Earnings Growth And 24% ROE

First thing first, we like that Character Group has an impressive ROE. Further, even comparing with the industry average if 20%, the company's ROE is quite respectable. However, for some reason, the higher returns aren't reflected in Character Group's meagre five year net income growth average of 3.3%.Despite this, Character Group's five year net income growth was quite low averaging at only 3.3%.Yet, Character Group has posted measly growth of 3.3% over the past five years. That's a bit unexpected from a company which has such a high rate of return. We reckon that a low growth, when returns are quite high could be the result of certain circumstances like low earnings retention or poor allocation of capital.

Next, on comparing with the industry net income growth, we found that Character Group's reported growth was lower than the industry growth of 11% in the same period, which is not something we like to see.

The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. 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. If you're wondering about Character Group's's valuation, check out this gauge of its price-to-earnings ratio, as compared to its industry.

## Is Character Group Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

Despite having a moderate three-year median payout ratio of 33% (implying that the company retains the remaining 67% of its income), Character Group's earnings growth was quite low. So there might be other factors at play here which could potentially be hampering growth. For example, the business has faced some headwinds.

Additionally, Character Group has paid dividends over a period of at least ten years, which means that the company's management is determined to pay dividends even if it means little to no earnings growth.

## Summary

In total, it does look like Character Group has some positive aspects to its business. Yet, the low earnings growth is a bit concerning, especially given that the company has a high rate of return and is reinvesting ma huge portion of its profits. By the looks of it, there could be some other factors, not necessarily in control of the business, that's preventing growth. While we won't completely dismiss the company, what we would do, is try to ascertain how risky the business is to make a more informed decision around the company. To know the 4 risks we have identified for Character Group visit our risks dashboard for free.

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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