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With its stock down 12% over the past three months, it is easy to disregard Algonquin Power & Utilities (TSE:AQN). However, stock prices are usually driven by a company’s financials over the long term, which in this case look pretty respectable. Specifically, we decided to study Algonquin Power & Utilities' 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. Put another way, it reveals the company's success at turning shareholder investments into profits.
How To Calculate Return On Equity?
The formula for ROE is:
Return on Equity = Net Profit (from continuing operations) ÷ Shareholders' Equity
So, based on the above formula, the ROE for Algonquin Power & Utilities is:
3.2% = US$242m ÷ US$7.6b (Based on the trailing twelve months to March 2022).
The 'return' is the yearly profit. So, this means that for every CA$1 of its shareholder's investments, the company generates a profit of CA$0.03.
What Has ROE Got To Do With Earnings Growth?
We have already established that ROE serves as an efficient profit-generating gauge for a company's future earnings. 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 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 Algonquin Power & Utilities' Earnings Growth And 3.2% ROE
It is hard to argue that Algonquin Power & Utilities' ROE is much good in and of itself. Not just that, even compared to the industry average of 8.7%, the company's ROE is entirely unremarkable. Despite this, surprisingly, Algonquin Power & Utilities saw an exceptional 36% net income growth over the past five years. Therefore, there could be other reasons behind this growth. For instance, the company has a low payout ratio or is being managed efficiently.
As a next step, we compared Algonquin Power & Utilities' net income growth with the industry, and pleasingly, we found that the growth seen by the company is higher than the average industry growth of 0.6%.
Earnings growth is an important metric to consider when valuing a stock. What investors need to determine next is if the expected earnings growth, or the lack of it, is already built into the share price. Doing so will help them establish if the stock's future looks promising or ominous. Is AQN fairly valued? This infographic on the company's intrinsic value has everything you need to know.
Is Algonquin Power & Utilities Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?
Algonquin Power & Utilities has a significant three-year median payout ratio of 60%, meaning the company only retains 40% of its income. This implies that the company has been able to achieve high earnings growth despite returning most of its profits to shareholders.
Moreover, Algonquin Power & Utilities is determined to keep sharing its profits with shareholders which we infer from its long history of paying a dividend for at least ten years. Looking at the current analyst consensus data, we can see that the company's future payout ratio is expected to rise to 90% over the next three years. However, Algonquin Power & Utilities' future ROE is expected to rise to 9.0% despite the expected increase in the company's payout ratio. We infer that there could be other factors that could be driving the anticipated growth in the company's ROE.
Overall, we feel that Algonquin Power & Utilities certainly does have some positive factors to consider. Namely, its high earnings growth. We do however feel that the earnings growth number could have been even higher, had the company been reinvesting more of its earnings and paid out less dividends. That being so, a study of the latest analyst forecasts show that the company is expected to see a slowdown in its future earnings growth. 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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