Most readers would already be aware that Apiam Animal Health's (ASX:AHX) stock increased significantly by 24% over the past three months. As most would know, fundamentals are what usually guide market price movements over the long-term, so we decided to look at the company's key financial indicators today to determine if they have any role to play in the recent price movement. Particularly, we will be paying attention to Apiam Animal Health'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 simpler terms, it measures the profitability of a company in relation to shareholder's equity.
How Is ROE Calculated?
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 Apiam Animal Health is:
4.7% = AU$3.1m ÷ AU$67m (Based on the trailing twelve months to December 2019).
The 'return' is the yearly profit. One way to conceptualize this is that for each A$1 of shareholders' capital it has, the company made A$0.05 in profit.
What Has ROE Got To Do With Earnings Growth?
So far, we've learned that ROE is a measure of a company's profitability. 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.
Apiam Animal Health's Earnings Growth And 4.7% ROE
At first glance, Apiam Animal Health's ROE doesn't look very promising. A quick further study shows that the company's ROE doesn't compare favorably to the industry average of 11% either. However, the moderate 14% net income growth seen by Apiam Animal Health over the past five years is definitely a positive. So, the growth in the company's earnings could probably have been caused by other variables. For example, it is possible that the company's management has made some good strategic decisions, or that the company has a low payout ratio.
As a next step, we compared Apiam Animal Health's 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 4.6%.
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. This then helps them determine if the stock is placed for a bright or bleak future. Has the market priced in the future outlook for AHX? You can find out in our latest intrinsic value infographic research report
Is Apiam Animal Health Using Its Retained Earnings Effectively?
Apiam Animal Health has a healthy combination of a moderate three-year median payout ratio of 50% (or a retention ratio of 50%) and a respectable amount of growth in earnings as we saw above, meaning that the company has been making efficient use of its profits.
Additionally, Apiam Animal Health has paid dividends over a period of three years which means that the company is pretty serious about sharing its profits with shareholders. Our latest analyst data shows that the future payout ratio of the company is expected to drop to 30% over the next three years. As a result, the expected drop in Apiam Animal Health's payout ratio explains the anticipated rise in the company's future ROE to 10%, over the same period.
On the whole, we do feel that Apiam Animal Health has some positive attributes. With a high rate of reinvestment, albeit at a low ROE, the company has managed to see a considerable growth in its earnings. That being so, the latest analyst forecasts show that the company will continue to see an expansion in its earnings. To know more about the latest analysts predictions for the company, check out this visualization of analyst forecasts for the company.
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.
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