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Acrow Formwork and Construction Services Limited's (ASX:ACF) Stock Has Shown Weakness Lately But Financial Prospects Look Decent: Is The Market Wrong?

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It is hard to get excited after looking at Acrow Formwork and Construction Services' (ASX:ACF) recent performance, when its stock has declined 4.9% over the past three months. However, the company's fundamentals look pretty decent, and long-term financials are usually aligned with future market price movements. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Acrow Formwork and Construction Services' ROE today.

Return on Equity or ROE is a test of how effectively a company is growing its value and managing investors’ money. Put another way, it reveals the company's success at turning shareholder investments into profits.

See our latest analysis for Acrow Formwork and Construction Services

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 Acrow Formwork and Construction Services is:

12% = AU$9.4m ÷ AU$77m (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2021).

The 'return' is the yearly profit. Another way to think of that is that for every A$1 worth of equity, the company was able to earn A$0.12 in profit.

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. 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 Acrow Formwork and Construction Services' Earnings Growth And 12% ROE

To begin with, Acrow Formwork and Construction Services seems to have a respectable ROE. Even when compared to the industry average of 11% the company's ROE looks quite decent. This probably goes some way in explaining Acrow Formwork and Construction Services' moderate 18% growth over the past five years amongst other factors.

We then compared Acrow Formwork and Construction Services' net income growth with the industry and found that the company's growth figure is lower than the average industry growth rate of 28% in the same period, which is a bit concerning.

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). This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. What is ACF worth today? The intrinsic value infographic in our free research report helps visualize whether ACF is currently mispriced by the market.

Is Acrow Formwork and Construction Services Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

While Acrow Formwork and Construction Services has a three-year median payout ratio of 71% (which means it retains 29% of profits), the company has still seen a fair bit of earnings growth in the past, meaning that its high payout ratio hasn't hampered its ability to grow.

Besides, Acrow Formwork and Construction Services has been paying dividends over a period of four years. This shows that the company is committed to sharing profits with its shareholders. Existing analyst estimates suggest that the company's future payout ratio is expected to drop to 40% over the next three years. The fact that the company's ROE is expected to rise to 21% over the same period is explained by the drop in the payout ratio.

Summary

In total, it does look like Acrow Formwork and Construction Services has some positive aspects to its business. Its earnings growth is decent, and the high ROE does contribute to that growth. However, investors could have benefitted even more from the high ROE, had the company been reinvesting more of its earnings. On studying current analyst estimates, we found that analysts expect the company to continue its recent growth streak. 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.