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Animalcare Group plc's (LON:ANCR) Has Been On A Rise But Financial Prospects Look Weak: Is The Stock Overpriced?

Simply Wall St
·4 min read

Most readers would already be aware that Animalcare Group's (LON:ANCR) stock increased significantly by 21% over the past month. We, however wanted to have a closer look at its key financial indicators as the markets usually pay for long-term fundamentals, and in this case, they don't look very promising. In this article, we decided to focus on Animalcare Group's ROE.

ROE or return on equity is a useful tool to assess how effectively a company can generate returns on the investment it received from its shareholders. Simply put, it is used to assess the profitability of a company in relation to its equity capital.

Check out our latest analysis for Animalcare Group

How Is ROE Calculated?

The formula for ROE is:

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

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

0.9% = UK£716k ÷ UK£83m (Based on the trailing twelve months to June 2020).

The 'return' is the amount earned after tax over the last twelve months. One way to conceptualize this is that for each £1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made £0.01 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 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.

Animalcare Group's Earnings Growth And 0.9% ROE

It is hard to argue that Animalcare Group's ROE is much good in and of itself. Not just that, even compared to the industry average of 9.4%, the company's ROE is entirely unremarkable. For this reason, Animalcare Group's five year net income decline of 46% is not surprising given its lower ROE. We reckon that there could also be other factors at play here. Such as - low earnings retention or poor allocation of capital.

However, when we compared Animalcare Group's growth with the industry we found that while the company's earnings have been shrinking, the industry has seen an earnings growth of 8.3% in the same period. This is quite worrisome.

past-earnings-growth
past-earnings-growth

The basis for attaching value to a company is, to a great extent, tied to its earnings growth. 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. 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 Animalcare Group is trading on a high P/E or a low P/E, relative to its industry.

Is Animalcare Group Efficiently Re-investing Its Profits?

Animalcare Group's high LTM (or last twelve month) payout ratio of 168% suggests that the company is depleting its resources to keep up its dividend payments, and this shows in its shrinking earnings. Paying a dividend beyond their means is usually not viable over the long term. You can see the 2 risks we have identified for Animalcare Group by visiting our risks dashboard for free on our platform here.

In addition, Animalcare Group has been paying dividends over a period of three years suggesting that keeping up dividend payments is preferred by the management even though earnings have been in decline. Upon studying the latest analysts' consensus data, we found that the company's future payout ratio is expected to drop to 42% over the next three years.

Conclusion

In total, we would have a hard think before deciding on any investment action concerning Animalcare Group. Particularly, its ROE is a huge disappointment, not to mention its lack of proper reinvestment into the business. As a result its earnings growth has also been quite disappointing. 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.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. 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.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team@simplywallst.com.